The five Israelis murdered by a suicide bomber at Bulgaria's Burgas Airport Wednesday were to be laid to rest in Israel Friday, after arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport shortly after midnight.
The coffins of those killed were carried off the plane by IDF soldiers as psalms were read at an IDF ceremony held at the airport.
Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov spoke at the IDF ceremony at the airport after the coffins were carried off the military plane carrying them home.
Repeating assertions from across the political leadership that Iran and Hezbollah were behind the suicide bombing on a bus full of tourists at Bulgaria's Burgas Airport Wednesday, Meseznikov told the families of those killed that "there is no comfort from the sorrow that has befallen you."
The victims' only mistake, he said, is that they were Israelis. "They were not randomly targeted."
"May this be your last disaster," Meseznikov said before the families walked by their relatives coffins.
The Interior Ministry on Thursday released the names of the five Israelis : Itzik Colangi, 28, Amir Menashe, 28, Elior Price, 26, Maor Harosh, 25, and Kochava Shriki, 44.
Itzik Colangi and Amir Menashe were good friends from Petah Tikva. Colangi's wife GIlat gave birth to their first child, Noya, four months ago, and his birthday was two weeks ago. The couple decided to celebrate in Burgas with their friends Natalie and Amir Menashe, who have a ten-month-old son, Rom. Gilat was severely injured and Natalie was lightly injured from the terrorist attack, while Itzik and Amir were killed while packing their luggage onto the bus.
Colangi will be buried Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Segula cemetery in Petah Tikva. Menashe will be buried at the same cemetery at 11:30 a.m. Harosh and Price will both be buried at Nahalat Asher cemetery next to Kefar Mecher at 12:00 p.m. and 15:00 p.m. respectively. Shriki will be buried at the old cemetery in Rishon Lezion at 12:30. Elior Price, a student, and Maor Harosh, an electrician, grew up together in Acre and went on vacation to Bulgaria with another close friend, Daniel Fahima. Harosh and Price were killed, while Fahima was severely injured.
Kochava Shriki of Rishon Lezion, was pregnant for the first time after years of fertility treatments. She gave her family the good news shortly before leaving for vacation in Bulgaria with her husband Yitzhak. After the attack, Yitzhak, who was injured, searched for Kochava in the rubble and in the hospital in Bulgaria, and learned of her death a day later.
Thirty-three people wounded in the bus bombing a landed in Israel at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon
at Ben-Gurion airport and were immediately transferred by ambulance to
area hospitals. The majority of the victims that returned on Thursday
were lightly injured though four were injured seriously or critically.
The terror attack targeting Israeli tourists killed at least seven people in the city of Burgas, soon after a
charter plane, Air Bulgaria flight 392 arrived from Ben-Gurion Airport.
The seven included five Israelis, the bus driver and the suicide bomber,
according to the Foreign Ministry.
A second Israel Air Force
plane carrying three people seriously wounded in the attack landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday night.
An IDF doctor said that the three, who were seriously injured in the attack, underwent surgery in Bulgaria before being returned home.
They were being transferred to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Rabin Medical Center - Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva and Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
Brigadier-General (Brig.-Gen.) Dr. Itzik Kreiss commended the Bulgarian
medical services for fully cooperating with Israeli doctors. He also
credited the hospitals with saving the lives of some of the victims.
not always nice to be Israeli, but this is a country that knows, within
24 hours, how to bring back all of her wounded and injured from every
place in the world, it makes it a little easier,” said Kreiss.
who accompanied the first flight from Bulgaria, said the injuries were
consistent with other bus bombings, including broken limbs, cuts, burns,
and multiple injuries. Kreiss added that he did not see any children
under the age of 18 but could not confirm there were no children
injured. Kreiss said that some of the people were in a good mental state
and some were less good. “Unfortunately, it’s the same mental state as
we have seen in many instances that this has happened here,” he said.
Yaakov Katz and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.