A Statement from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation on the Terrorist Attack in Bulgaria Targeting Israeli Tourists
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation joins together with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) in offering our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of July 18’s terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, which targeted Israeli tourists.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with all people of goodwill in condemning this horrific act of violence," said Brian L. Bilzin, Board Chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.
Several hours ago, various news outlets reported that seven people were killed, and at least 20 wounded on a bus carrying Israeli tourists. The explosion occurred at the Sarafovo Airport in Burgas, shortly after a chartered flight of Israelis landed and the passengers, all from a single tour group, boarded their bus. Early reports suggest that an explosive device had been placed in the luggage compartment of the targeted bus. TV news images showed a black plume of smoke over the airport.
A significant number of Israeli authorities and Magen David Adom medical personnel are en route to Bulgaria, and senior Israeli officials are already holding Iran and Hezbollah responsible for the attack.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that “all factors point to Iranian responsibility for this attack,” and added that “Israel’s response will be severe" if this is the case.
Today marks the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack carried out by Iranian agents on the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina that left 85 people dead. Miami’s Jewish community had already scheduled its annual commemoration of that tragedy to be held this evening at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center at 7:00pm.
Jacob Solomon, Federation President and CEO said, “We and all those who value and respect the sanctity of life are shocked and saddened by the bus bombing targeting innocent Israelis traveling in Bulgaria. This act of terrorism reminds us starkly that Israelis live with the constant threat of violence.”
Last week, Iranian-sponsored terrorists were arrested trying to carry out an attack against Israeli tourists in Cyprus. Last January, Bulgarian authorities thwarted an attack when they found a bomb on a charter bus of Israeli tourists traveling to a Bulgarian ski resort, and Israeli authorities reportedly asked Bulgaria at the time to increase security for Israelis in the country.
This is a sad time for the people of Israel and for peace-loving people worldwide. We join all people of goodwill in praying for a full recovery for those injured in today’s attack.