Bulgarian President Rumen Radev participated in a ceremony on Tuesday marking the 11th anniversary of a deadly Hezbollah attack on an Israeli tour bus at the Burgas Airport.
The ceremony was held at a monument at the site of the attack in which five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver were killed. Another 35 persons were wounded.
“The attack on the Israeli tourists and the Bulgarian citizen shook our whole country. We often say that time heals all pain, but I know very well that there is no medicine for the pain of losing the closest people,” said Radev.
Evil continues to fester and therefore must be confronted by common efforts, he cautioned.
“Today’s event gives us an opportunity to state once again that Bulgaria and Israel are connected by deep historical and friendly ties, that we share a similar fate and a long-standing partnership,” said Radev.
“This year we celebrate the 80th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgarian Jews. This is an unprecedented act for Europe in the darkest years of the Second World War. We did not allow a single Bulgarian Jew to be deported to the death camps, and Bulgaria emerged from World War II with a larger Jewish community,” he added.
“Let us not forget today that we must continue to fight together against the efforts of terrorism that sow fear, death and destruction. I believe that we will continue to work more and more effectively for the prevention, neutralization and protection from terrorist threats,” continued the leader.
Bulgarian authorities have attributed the Burgas bombing attack to the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group.
The suicide bomber was identified as dual Lebanese-French national Mohamad Hassan El Husseini, who had entered Bulgaria using the alias Jacques Felipe Martin.
After a four-year investigation, the case reached the courts in 2016, but the trial did not start until 2018. Nearly 100 expert reports were submitted into evidence and 200 witnesses questioned during the proceedings.
Lebanese-Australian Meliad Farah, 35, and Lebanese-Canadian Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 28, were tried in absentia and charged with terrorism.
The two men were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of commutation, and the court also awarded $115 million in civil damages to the victims’ families.
Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan remain on Interpol’s wanted list.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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