'Burgas reveals to EU Hezbollah's true nature'

Israel hopes the attack will convince the EU to place the group on terror blacklist; US hopes Hezbollah brought to account.

February 5, 2013 18:20
2 minute read.
PM Netanyahu at cabinet meeting

Netanyahu370 (2013). (photo credit: Pool/ Emil Salman)


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In the wake of a Bulgarian investigation of the bomb attack that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver last year in Burgas, both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Administration of US President Barack Obama  said on Tuesday that Hezbollah must be held to account. The EU also responded and said it was committed to the fight against terror, "whoever stands behind it."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked the Bulgarians for what he said was their solid and professional investigation.

Referring to the findings, which blamed Hezbollah’s military wing for involvement, Netanyahu said “there is only one Hezbollah, it is one organization with one leadership.”

Netanyahu said the findings are additional proof of what Israel has long known, that Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors are waging a terrorist war that “crosses borders and continents.” He said that attack in Bulgaria was just one of many that Hezbollah and Iran have planned and carried out, including attacks in Thailand, Kenya, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Georgia.

“The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil against an EU country,” Netanyahu said. “We hope the Europeans will draw the necessary conclusions regarding the true nature of Hezbollah.”

Israel, which has been pressing a reluctant EU to place the group on its terror blacklist for nearly two decades, hopes the attack in Burgas will now convince the Europeans of the need to do so.  

Echoing the Israeli response the Administration of US President Barack Obama said that  Hezbollah must be held to account for the bomb attack and urged Europe and others to pursue an investigation into the incident.

"We call on our European partners as well as other members of the international community to take proactive action to uncover Hezbollah's infrastructure and disrupt the group's financing schemes and operational networks in order to prevent future attacks," said John Brennan, a top national security adviser to Obama.

"Bulgaria's investigation exposes Hezbollah for what it is - a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women, and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world," Brennan, Obama's nominee to head the CIA, said in a statement.

"The United States will continue to provide the Bulgarian Government assistance in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice," Brennan said. 

The EU also reacted swiftly to the outcome of the Bulgarian investigation. Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief said, "The implications of the investigation need to be assessed seriously as they relate to a terrorist attack on EU soil, which resulted in the killing and injury of innocent civilians." Ashton added, "The terrorists who planned and carried out the Burgas attack must be brought to justice.  

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report

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