Israel awaits results of Burgas bomb probe

Jerusalem links Hezbollah and Iran to July 2012 terror attack that killed five Israelis, hopes for Sofia’s corroboration.

February 5, 2013 07:13
2 minute read.
Relatives of a victim of the Burgas bomb attack

Burgas Memorial (R370). (photo credit: REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov is scheduled to release a much-anticipated report in Sofia on Tuesday regarding who his country believes is responsible for the July 18, 2012 terrorist attack in Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.

Details of the investigation were shared with Israeli officials last month when Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov paid a one-day surprise visit to Jerusalem, during which he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

One diplomatic official, who refused to comment on the report before it was released, said that as a result of Mladenov’s visit, Israel “would not be surprised” by the findings.

He said Israel would be paying close attention not only to what the Bulgarians said in the report, but also to what the rest of the EU would do with the findings.

Israel linked Hezbollah and Iran to the attack immediately following the bombing, with Netanyahu saying at the time, “I know, based on absolutely rock solid intelligence, this is Hezbollah, and this is something Iran knows about very, very well.”

He said that Jerusalem knew without “a shred of doubt” that the attack was carried out “with the encouragement, at the behest and coordination of Iran.”

If Bulgaria does point an accusatory finger at Hezbollah in the report, it is likely to increase pressure on the EU to add the organization to its list of outlawed terrorist organizations. Doing so would render illegal any financial transfer from the EU to Hezbollah or any member of that organization.

Israeli officials, however, were skeptical of this eventuality, saying a consensus of all 27 EU countries was necessary to place Hezbollah on the EU’s blacklist, and France would likely block such a move because of concern about losing historic influence and diplomatic leverage in Lebanon.

Last July, shortly after the bombing and strong Israeli pressure for the EU to blacklist Hezbollah, Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, whose country at the time held the EU’s rotating presidency, said, “The Lebanese Hezbollah is an organization that comprises a political party [and a] social services network, as well as an armed wing. Hezbollah is active in Lebanese politics, including the parliament and the government, and plays a specific role with regard to the status quo in Lebanon.”

Taking this and other aspects into account, she said, there is “no consensus among the EU member states for putting Hezbollah on the terrorist list of the organization. Should there be tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terrorism, the EU would consider listing the organization.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry the national flag as they ride on motorcycle
May 21, 2019
400 Congress members urges Trump: Safeguard Israel during Syria exit