Dan Shapiro
Photo: AFP

'Israel has the right to defend itself'

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro says Washington will assist Israel, Bulgaria in probe of Burgas terror attack; adds those responsible will be brought to justice

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro commented Friday on the terror attack in Bulgaria, which claimed the lives of five Israelis and left 32 injured, saying that Israel has the right of self-defense.


Shapiro conveyed Washington's condolences to the families of the victims, adding that the US is cooperating with Israel and Bulgaria on the investigation, so to ensure those responsible will be brought to justice.


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The true identity of the suicide bomber who perpetrated the attack is still unknown.  



Asked whether the United States was concerned about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement, accusing Iran – via Hezbollah – of orchestrating the attack, especially given the growing tensions vis-à-vis Tehran over its nuclear program, Shapiro said that "Israel has the right to defend itself."


He noted that in his opinion, no decision has been made regarding a possible retaliation over the attack; adding that given the close cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, future measures will most likely be discussed between the two.


Shapiro added that the United States shares Israel's determination to stop terror attacks against Israelis worldwide.


The bus (Photo: Reuters) 


According to the US envoy, Washington was enraged to learn of the attack: Israel is the victim and the "prime" target for terror attacks around the world, and the US plans to increase it efforts, in collaboration with Israel and other countries, to prevent future attacks, he said.


"Terror knows no bounds," he stressed, adding that cooperation was key in the war on terror.


"I don’t think that we can comment yet on the specifics of the investigating, but clearly there have been attempts in recent months (to attack Israelis) that have had the hallmarks of Hezbollah and Iran, and we know that they have actively sought to attack Israelis the past," he said.


Meanwhile, the Pentagon echoed Israel's theory that the suicide bombing bore the hallmarks of Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants.


"The attack on a bus carrying Israelis at a Bulgarian airport, does bear the hallmarks of Hezbollah," George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said.


Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said Friday that the terrorist was a foreign national. Sofia was investigating with the help of foreign intelligence services, he said.


Reuters contributed to this report




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פרסום ראשון: 07.20.12, 19:21
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