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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Bulgaria’

Bulgaria Kicks Hamas to the Curb

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Is it possible that Bulgaria is now setting the bar for European countries in dealing with terrorism?

In July, 5 Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were murdered in a terrorist bombing at the Black Sea resort of Burgas.  Last week the Bulgarians issued a report of their exhaustive investigation, which named the Shia terrorist organization Hezbollah as the terrorist masterminds behind the murders.

Now Bulgaria has taken another bold step against terrorism within its borders.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post, after a Hamas delegation came to Bulgaria this week they were forcibly expelled from the country.

Members of the Bulgarian security services entered the hotel rooms of the three visiting Hamas delegates early in the morning on Friday, February 15, and drove them to the airport.  The expelled terrorist group members reportedly flew to Istanbul.  According to the Arab Palestinian media outlet Ma’an, the names of the three are Ismail al-Ashqar, Salah al-Bardawil and Mushir al-Masri, who belong to the Hamas Change and Reform Bloc.

The Hamas group was in Bulgaria to present to an EU member the “Palestinian narrative and expose the false Israeli narrative on the Palestinians and Hamas,” according to the Post report.

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the same man who announced the result of the investigation into the Burgas bombing, said that while the Hamas members had entered the country with regular visas, during their stay “information was received which gives reasons to believe that their presence poses a serious threat for national security.”

The director of the Bulgarian Center for Middle East Studies, Mohd Abuasi, said he had invited the three Palestinians to show that Bulgaria “is not a completely pro-Israeli country.”

Abousi said that the conference which the Hamas members were to have taken part in was called off after the visit was cut short.  Abousi gave a different version of the manner in which the Hamas delegates left Bulgaria.

“Due to the strong pressure by Bulgarian authorities,” Abousi claimed, “the three lawmakers decided to leave in order to spare the country an escalating of tensions.”

The expulsion of the Hamas members undermined a claim made also on Friday by Hamas official Ahmad Yousef that the Hamas visit to Bulgaria hinted at the removal of Hamas from the EU terrorism list.

Yousef claimed he had specific confidential information that EU countries had “no reservations against removing Hamas from the terrorism list,” with the exception of Germany and the Czech Republic.

Immediately after Yousef’s claim became public, however, the Bulgarian government publicly clarified that the Hamas delegates had not been officially invited and that they would not meet with government representatives, according to the Sofia news agency.

The Hamas government has issued a stern condemnation of Bulgaria for expelling their members, blaming Israeli pressure.

“We condemn this act, which reflects the scale of compliance with Zionist pressures,” Hamas government spokesperson Taher al-Nunu said.

One of the three Hamas delegates expelled from Bulgaria on Friday, Mushir al-Masri, is related to the homicide bomber who murdered 15 Jews, 8 of them children, in the Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem on August 9, 2001.

Amb. Prosor: Many States Classify Hezbollah as ‘Charity’

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

On Tuesday, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor spoke during a Security Council open debate on the “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict.”

Prosor referred to the finding last week, by Bulgarian authorities, that Hezbollah was the culprit behind the July bus bombing in Burgas, which killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen.

“This was the deadliest attack on European soil since 2005,” Prosor said. “Despite this, however, Hezbollah remains conspicuously absent from the European Union’s list of recognized terrorist organizations. In fact, many states—including some in this hall—continue to classify Hezbollah as a charity. Not since Napoleon invaded Russia has the European continent seen such an astonishing lack of foresight.”

Prosor cautioned that Hezbollah’s sole purpose is “to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East,” commenting that “calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al Qaida an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings.”

“One does not need the fortitude of Richard the Lionheart to do the right thing here,” Prosor concluded. “The EU must find the moral and political courage to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations. It must send a clear message that Hezbollah can no longer target its citizens with impunity.”

Arab Israeli MK Zoabi Blames Israeli Policy for Terror Attack in Bulgaria

Friday, July 27th, 2012

An Israeli Arab Knesset member said that Israeli policy led to the deadly recent terrorist attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

“Israel is not a victim, and even when civilians are killed, the occupying Israeli policy is to blame,” Channel 10 quoted Haneen Zoabi as saying. “If there was no occupation, no repression and no blockade, then this wouldn’t have happened,” she said during an interview at Haifa’s Gordon College.

The terrorist attack, which American and Israeli offiicals blame on a Hezbollah operative, killed five Israelis and wounded another 36 on vacation in Burgas, Bulgaria.

Zoabi also came out against efforts to have the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics remembered with a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies of this year’s London Olympics. She is member of the National Democratic Assembly, a secular party that says a democratic, secular stay is the only that Israel’s Arab citizens can “achieve full, cultural, national and minority rights.”

“Why don’t they commemorate the Palestinians that Israel murdered?” Channel 2 quoted Zoabi as saying. “If Israel would say that it recognizes the injustice it has done to Palestinians, then it would also be logical to ask the world to remember all the sides. But it is hypocritical to continue to bring up the victims of 40 years ago, while Israel wants to hide the victims of recent years.”

Zoabi on Friday denied the reports, saying that the media had ignored her condemnation of the murder of Jewish civilians in Burgas and her participation in a minute of silence in their memory in the Knesset, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The media, she said, also ignored her central contention: that the occupation is the central act of terrorism, the center of conflict and suffering in the region, the paper reported.

Magen David Adom Races To Bulgaria

Friday, July 27th, 2012

“Wherever there are Israelis in trouble…we are there to help them,” said Yoni Yagodovsky, a spokesman for Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA), told The Jewish Press.

Roughly eight hours after the terrorist attack in Bulgaria, a team of 12 MDA professionals arrived in Bulgaria to help their countrymen.

“Some of them burst into tears and clapped their hands in joy when they saw our medical team arriving,” Yagodovsky said about the dozens of Israelis who escaped the attack but were holed up in Bulgaria’s Burgas International Airport due to security concerns.

MDA officials proceeded to visit the injured in two Bulgarian hospitals, offering assistance wherever they could. “Unfortunately, we’ve gathered a lot of experience in dealing with terror attack victims,” Yagodovsky said. MDA also set up a call center for families in Israel who were worried about their loved ones.

Asked whether Bulgaria resented MDA’s involvement, Yagodovsky said, “Not at all. They were very helpful and friendly. All the people I spoke with said only good things about the Bulgarians.”

Israel Tightening Security Measures At Home And Abroad

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Israel’s global intelligence apparatus is being stretched thin as Iranian- controlled Hizbullah terror squads and pro-Assad Syrian chemical warfare teams are threatening to attack more Israeli citizens abroad and within Israel itself.

While high-ranking Israeli security officials have denied British media reports that the Mossad had sent a counterterrorism team to London to prevent an attack on Israel’s Olympic athletes, the Israeli media claimed that the Olympic squad is being guarded by elite British police, Mossad operatives and their Shin Bet colleagues.

In the wake of last week’s suicide attack by Hizbullah against Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, Mossad, CIA and MI5 agents have been combing European cities for two additional members of the Hizbullah terror team who escaped to another European locale. Israeli military correspondents report that the hit squad in Bulgaria could be part of a larger team, which might be en route to the Olympic Games to perpetrate another Munich-style massacre.

In related developments, Israeli and American investigators are trying to match the Bulgarian suicide bomber’s DNA to their criminal databases, and Bulgarian authorities are reporting that a mysterious Russian-speaking woman had also assisted the Hizbullah terrorists in Burgas.

Last Sunday Mossad Director Tamir Pardo and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen said that Iran and Hizbullah have tried to commit terrorist attacks against Israeli diplomats, businessmen and tourists in over 20 countries during the past two years. The Mossad and Shin Bet also said that Hizbullah terrorists were temporarily thwarted from launching an attack on Israeli citizens in Bulgaria earlier this year.

Meanwhile, leading members of the rebel Free Syrian Army told Western news agencies that pro-government military forces had moved a significant portion of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal to a select number of air force bases, where medium- and long-range missiles could launch attacks on Israel or “foreign invaders.” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has already informed Obama administration officials that Israel will possibly launch preemptive attacks against Syria’s chemical and ballistic missile installations if Israeli military intelligence detects an attempt by Assad to pass on unconventional weapons to Hizbullah or if he tries to draw Israel into a full-scale regional war.

‘Christians and Jews’ Pays for Jewish Agency, Chabad, Security Upgrade

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews has given $1 million each to the Jewish Agency and Chabad to help them guard against anti-Semitic and terrorist attacks.

The money will go to fund infrastructure upgrades and security measures for Jewish communities around the world that are unable to fund security expenses on their own.

“There is no one group that has accepted responsibility for security of Jews around the world. The Jewish community is not stepping up to provide security,” Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of IFCJ, told JTA. “This has become a major need to sustain Jewish life around the world and it is going to continue to grow.”

Chabad will use its $1 million to create a central security system to protect its emissaries and upgrade security in its facilities that are at the most risk, according to Eckstein. The Jewish Agency will distribute its money via grants using an application process, he said.

The announcement of the grants came a week after a suicide bomber attacked a bus full of Israeli tourists at an airport in Bulgaria. Eckstein said that in recent months his organization provided $100,000 to Bulgaria through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to provide for the poor in the community as well as to upgrade security.

The IFCJ says it has given approximately $45 million for security-related issues in Israel and elsewhere since 2003, the year that bombings carried out in Istanbul, including some targeting synagogues, killed 67 people and injured hundreds.

The Terrorist Argued with her Husband and Was Blown Up by Remote Control

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

While the hunt continues for the terrorist cell that helped carry out the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, new testimony from one of the Israeli women injured in the attack sheds new light on the investigation. Gilat Kulangi, who lost her husband Itzik in the attack, says that moments before the explosion, the terrorist was arguing with her husband and a friend, took their bags out of the trunk and put his own in instead. “An operator activated the load by remote control,” Kulangi told investigators.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that Gilat Kulangi, who sustained serious injuries herself, has been telling relatives who came to her bedside at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel, that only seconds before the attack, her late husband and his good friend, the late Amir Menashe, were arguing with the terrorist over storage space on the tour bus.

“He came over to the bus, pushed their bags aside and put his own bag down,” she related. “They started to argue with him – and that’s when his operator, who saw them from a distance – activated the explosive load.”

At this point authorities are verifying Gilat’s testimony, together with a report that the terrorist had attempted to rent a car at the airport. According to this report, the employee at the car rental desk became suspicious of the terrorist and refused to rent him a car. After he had seen his picture in the news, the desk clerk informed police.

Presumably, if the terrorists had been trying to secure a vehicle for himself, he did not have any intention of committing suicide.

The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that the terrorist who commanded the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, is rated now as the highest threat to the London Olympic games.

He is reported to have carried at one point a U.S. passport under the name of David Jefferson. The assumption is that he may be carrying a similar charge to the one that was used in the attack on Israeli tourists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-terrorist-argued-with-her-husband-and-was-blown-up-by-remote-control/2012/07/24/

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