Peres salutes Azerbaijan for foiling terror attack
LAST UPDATED: 01/25/2012 21:19
President thanks Azerbaijani counterpart for "saving lives"; two Azerbaijani suspects arrested.
Peres, Azerbaijani president Aliyev Photo: President's Office
President Shimon Peres thanked his Azerbaijani counterpart on Wednesday for the
country’s success in foiling a terrorist attack aimed at Israeli and Jewish
targets in Baku.
Peres, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, told Ilham Aliyev that Israel saluted his country for “saving lives
on your land from a murderous terrorist attack.”
Security Ministry revealed last week that it uncovered a cell planning terrorist
attacks. Two Azerbaijanis and an Iranian citizen living in Iran were implicated
in the plot. The two Azerbaijanis were arrested.
Aliyev, according to
Peres’s office, said the plot showed “to what degree we are in a difficult and
Azerbaijan showed that it is able to defend
itself and its citizens regardless of their ethnicity or
Aliyev said Azerbaijan would continue to cooperate with
Israel, especially on homeland security issues.
Conflicting reports have
emerged about the terror plot.
While local media said an Iranian-backed
terror cell had planned to kill Jewish teachers at the Or Avner Jewish school
just outside the capital Baku, other reports in the media claimed the men were
offered $150,000 by Iran to assassinate Israel’s Ambassador Michael
A spokesman for the Or Avner network of Jewish schools, however,
denied on Tuesday night any knowledge of a planned attack.
“The Jews of
Baku and the administrators of the school have no information on what was
reported in Azeri media last Thursday,” said the spokesman. “The community’s
routine has not changed.” The Israeli foreign ministry did not comment on the
Azerbaijan is an oil-rich country neighboring Iran with a
Shi’ite majority that has had good diplomatic ties with Israel since 1992. In
2008, a terror cell was arrested there.
Security forces said they planned
to bomb the Israeli embassy in the country to avenge the death of Imad
Muganiyah, Hezbollah’s shadowy senior member. Hezbollah says the bomb that
killed Muganiyah in Damascus was planted by Israel.
The Or Avner school
in Baku was completed in 2010 at a cost of $10 million donated by Israeli
businessman Lev Leviev and other philanthropists. It has about 400 students and
also includes a Jewish community center and a sports facility that caters to the
country’s estimated 12,000 Jews.
At the beginning of the year Azerbaijan
joined the 15-member UN Security Council as one of its temporary members, a
position with heightened significance for Israel since the Palestinians are
threatening to take their bid for statehood recognition at the UN back to that