Israel Launches Global Campain after Bulgaria Terror*

Views on BG | July 23, 2012, Monday // 08:37|  views

Israel launched a campaign Sunday to draw attention to Iran and Hezbollah’s involvement in international terrorism.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu took his case to the US public and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced a trip to Brussels to convince the EU to put Hezbollah on its terror blacklist.

Netanyahu, appearing on two Sunday morning interview programs – CBS’s Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday – said it was clear beyond a doubt that Hezbollah was behind Wednesday’s attack in Burgas that left five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver dead.

"I know, based on absolutely rock solid intelligence, this is Hezbollah, and this is something Iran knows about very, very well,” he said. Netanyahu added that Israel knows, without “a shred of doubt,” that the operation was carried out “with the encouragement, at the behest and coordination of Iran."

The prime minister said the intelligence information was given to “friendly” intelligence agencies in the world. It was also easy to “surmise” that Hezbollah was responsible, because a week before the bombing, a man who admitted to being a Hezbollah operative was arrested in Cyprus preparing exactly the same kind of attack as the one carried out in Bulgaria, Netanyahu said. "

"Exactly the same thing: going to an airport to collect information for an impending attack on Israel tourists who get off the plane and are about to board a bus,” he said. “So, exactly the same modus operandi was exposed in Cyprus. Fortunately there, the terrorist was caught, he admitted that he worked on behalf of Hezbollah, Iran’s long terror-arm."

Iran and Hezbollah have tried to carry out attacks in 24 countries over the past two years, Netanyahu said.

The Israeli PM termed this a “worldwide terror campaign directed at us, but often including others. For example, there was an Iranian planned attack on the Saudi ambassador to the United States. They might have well taken away several senators with them, they don’t particularly care. Very brazen. How could Iran be doing this and getting away with murder, literally. It is because nobody names and shames them.”

There were five Iranians and two Hezbollah operatives in custody around the globe for alleged involvement in terrorist plots, and the time had come to “expose those who stand behind terror,” Netanyahu said. In addition to exposing Iran’s involvement, he said the world had to make sure that Iran paid for its involvement.

The Israeli PM also drew a parallel, as he had done last Thursday in Jerusalem, between the Bulgaria attack and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

He said the attack on a busload of tourists, including killing a pregnant woman, “tells you what kind of people we’re dealing with. Now, imagine these people who are capable of doing anything, imagine them possessing nuclear weapons. People who gun down innocent people, who send suicide bombers, who could block the Straits of Iran, who threaten to annihilate Israel, who murder diplomats, who’ve taken over your embassy – you want these people to have atomic bombs?"

"I think this is a reminder, this wave of terror attacks, that the world’s most dangerous regime must not be allowed to have the world’s most dangerous weapons."

Meanwhile, Lieberman announced that he would travel to Brussels on Monday for the annual EU-Israel Association meeting. In the wake of the attack in Bulgaria and the attempted attack in Cyprus, both EU countries, Lieberman is expected to ask his European colleagues to include Hezbollah in the EU’s terrorist blacklist.

The group is already on the US terrorist list. Liberman is expected to say that Hezbollah’s responsibility for violence and lack of stability in the Middle East and the world obligates the EU to take action.

The foreign minister is scheduled to meet with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, as well as the foreign ministers from France, Britain, Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Croatia, Sweden, Belgium, Slovakia and Cyprus. The annual Israel-EU Association meeting deals with a wide range of bilateral EU-Israel issues.

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Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, Iran, Hezbollah, US, EU, Catherine Ashton, terror


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