The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati condemns the terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. We express our deepest sympathies to the families and all those touched by this tragedy, and we hope and pray for the full recovery for those who were wounded.
On Wednesday afternoon a group of Israeli tourists arrived at the Burgas airport hoping to vacation along the beaches of the Black Sea. Minutes after their arrival, a suicide bomber attacked their bus. Five Israelis have died as a result of this terrorist act, as well as the Bulgarian bus driver, and dozens more are injured. The injured were air-lifted to hospitals in Israel. The Fund for the Victims of Terror, operated by The Jewish Agency for Israel and made possible by contributions from Jewish Federations across North America, will provide financial assistance to Israelis wounded in the attack and to the families of those killed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately stated that Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah, which receives support in the form of money and training from Iran, are responsible. American officials have corroborated the link between the suicide bomber and Hezbollah. Just last week an operative of Hezbollah was arrested in Cyprus on suspicion of trying to kill Israeli tourists there. Additionally, there have been a string of failed bomb plots by Iranian operatives targeting Israeli diplomats in Georgia, India and Thailand earlier this year.
At this time no one has claimed responsibility for this heinous act, but we are hopeful that those responsible will be brought to justice. We applaud President Obama’s condemnation of the attack and his pledge “to stand with Israel in this difficult time, and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators,” as well as the condemnation expressed by the UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton. We too stand with Israel and her right to seek justice.