Newsletter : 12fx0719.txt
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Seven Killed in Terror Attack on Israeli Tourists in Bulgaria
By YnetNews.com, IsraelNationalNews.com, VOA News
At least seven people were killed and more than30 others were injured Wednesday in a
terror attack on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas, some 400 kilometers east of the
Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Bulgarian media reported that the explosion took place while
the bus was still in the terminal of Sarafovo Airport.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that, "All the signs are pointing to Iran. Only
in the past few months we've seen Iran try to target Israelis in Thailand, Indian,
Georgia, Cyprus and more. "The murderous Iranian terror continues to target innocent
people. Iranian terror is spreading worldwide... Israel will react to it with force," he
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the Israeli defense establishment will not rest
until the perpetrators are apprehended. He added that "Our defense forces will act to
track down the perpetrators and masterminds behind this act of terrorism," he vowed. "It's
a very severe attack. We've been following terrorist organizations Hizbullah, Hamas
- as well as Iranian and global jihad elements who intend to engage in international
terrorist attacks. We're engaged in a bitter battle with many victories alongside bad days
Former United States Ambassador to the UN John Bolton believes that Israel is poised to
launch a direct attack on Iran. Bolton, appearing on Fox news, said Israel will go after
Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said police were investigating two
possible causes of the blast - that an explosive device was put in the bus before the
tourists boarded or that the explosives were in the tourists' luggage.
According to media reports, an 11-year-old child and two pregnant women were among the
injured. Fortunately, the pregnant women were lightly injured. The evacuation of the
injured has been completed. According to the Magen David Adom emergency services, a total
of 35 Israelis were injured in the attack - three are in serious to critical
The Foreign Ministry said six people were killed when the blast went off, and another
person died at the hospital. Bulgarian news agencies said a tour guide and the driver of
the bus were among those killed. Following the attack, the Shin Bet suspended all flights
bound for Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said that during a meeting held about a month ago,
Mossad representatives did not warn Bulgarian officials of the possibility of a terror
attack, the Sofia News Agency reported. Plevneliev stressed that Bulgarian authorities
took all the appropriate measures to protect the terror attack victims.
The blast took place at 5.30 pm, on one of three buses shuttling Israeli tourists
across the terminal. Bulgarian media aired conflicting reports on the nature of the
explosion whether it was perpetrated by a suicide bomber or by an explosive device,
The Israeli Embassy in Sofia has been mobilized and is ready to assist the team, which
includes ZAKA disaster recovery officials, in identifying the victims and ensuring that
the injured and other Israelis that were unharmed return to Israel as soon as
Shoshi Eyler, who was on one of the buses that escaped the blast, told Ynet that the
blast took place seconds after the groups boarded the buses. "The bus next to ours just
exploded. There was smoke everywhere and people were running hysterically. We got off the
bus and local security officers got everyone into the terminal immediately."
Shoshi told Voice of Israel Radio "We went through passport control and representatives
were waiting to deposit us in buses to the hotels. We put the bags in the trunk, and
after a few minutes, the bus exploded in flames. Then we returned to the terminal, and now
we are trying to determine who is missing and who is dead."
Shoshi's son added: "People who survived the explosion escaped from the window, and
could not step over the bodies. The bus was shattered on both its sides." Burgas is a
popular tourist town on the Black Sea to which many Israelis flock each week.
The explosion comes on the 18th anniversary of a 1994 bomb attack on the headquarters
of Argentina's main Jewish organization by an Iranian-backed Hizbullah suicide bomber,
which killed 85 people.
Hizbullah has denied any connection to the attack, saying its response to the
assassination of its top commander Imad Mughniyeh "won't be carried out by attacking
Shoshi, an eyewitness, told Voice of Israel Radio "We went through passport control and
representatives were waiting to deposit us in buses to the hotels. We put the bags in the
trunk, and after a few minutes, the bus exploded in flames. Then we returned to the
terminal, and now we are trying to determine who is missing and who is dead."
Shoshi's son added: "People who survived the explosion escaped from the window, and
could not step over the bodies. The bus was shattered on both its sides."
Burgas is a popular tourist town on the Black Sea to which many Israelis flock each
New 'Mahdi' Cyber Campaign Targeting Iran
Security experts have uncovered a new cyber espionage campaign targeting Iran and other
Middle Eastern countries, which, they say, is unique because it is the first such
operation using communications tools written in Persian, Reuters reported.
Israeli security company Seculert and Russia's Kaspersky Lab said on Tuesday that they
identified more than 800 victims of the operation. The targets include critical
infrastructure companies, engineering students, financial services firms and government
embassies located in five Middle Eastern countries, with the majority of the infections in
Seculert and Kaspersky declined to identify specific targets of the campaign, which
they believe began at least eight months ago. The perpetrators of the attacks have not
been identified. "It's for sure somebody who is fluent in Persian, but we don't know the
origin of those guys," said Seculert Chief Technology Officer Aviv Raff.
The Mahdi Trojan lets remote attackers steal files from infected PCs and monitor emails
and instant messages, Seculert and Kaspersky said. It can also record audio, log
keystrokes and take screen shots of activity on those computers.
The firms said they believed multiple gigabytes of data have been uploaded from
targeted machines. "Somebody is trying to build a dossier of a larger scale on something,"
Raff said. "We don't know what they are going to do at the end." Researchers have said
that they believe nation states were behind the Flame virus, which was discovered earlier
this year, and Stuxnet, which was uncovered in 2011.
Seculert and Kaspersky dubbed the campaign `Mahdi,' a term referring to the prophesied
redeemer of Islam, because evidence suggests the attackers used a folder with that name as
they developed the software to run the project, according to Reuters. They also included a
text file named `mahdi.txt' in the malicious software that infected target computers.
Knesset Member Rips Up New Testament
MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union), a member of the Israeli parliament tore up a copy
of the New Testament and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on
camera. Ben Ari and several other Knesset members received by mail on Monday a copy of the
New Testament, sent by the Bible Society in Israel, an organization that distributes
In the letter sent with the book, director of the Christian organization Victor
Kalisher wrote that the new edition "sheds light on the Holy Scriptures and helps
understand them. We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way," Kalisher
However, while most MK's chose to ignore the book or return it to its sender, the
rightist lawmaker chose to term the book a "provocation," tore it up into shreds and then
threw it out. "This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions
of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances," Ben Ari said adding that
"Sending the book to MK's is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it
represents belongs in the garbage can of history."
Meanwhile, MK Ilan Gilon (Mertez) condemned Ben Ari's actions, saying "it's shocking
that someone like that is a member of Knesset. One could compare his actions to those of
an extreme MP abroad tearing up the Bible. We would all cry out if that happened," he
Government spokesman Mark Regev said, "We totally deplore this behavior and condemn it
outright. This action stands in complete contrast to our values and our traditions. Israel
is a tolerant society, but we have zero tolerance for this despicable and hateful
Israel Heat Wave Reaches High of 116°F
Israel's heat wave peaked Wednesday afternoon, with temperatures reaching highs of
116°F (47°C) in several areas across the country. Temperatures were highest in the
Arava and the Jordan Valley, as well as in the Galilee and the Judean Mountains.
Temperatures were expected to drop slightly on Thursday, and are expected to cool by the
According to Meteo-Tech weatherman Nahum Malik, Israel has absorbed a heat wave whose
origin is a direct hot air stream from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Such air streams
usually reach Israel through different routes which often cool down over the Mediterranean
Sea and bring about the July-August heat wave Israelis have become accustomed to.
Foreign Ministry Introduces 'Traveler App'
A new smartphone app developed by the Foreign Ministry aims to help Israelis find their
way out of sticky situations that often plague them as they travel overseas.
The app, called "Traveler Information," aims to offer Israelis the benefit of dozens of
years of experience that Israel's embassies, consulates and missions worldwide have in
dealing with various mishaps.
The application offers a wide range of useful information from a list including
the addresses and phone numbers of embassies and consulates, as well as the Foreign
Ministry Situation Room, through information about local police stations and hospitals, to
proper etiquette in various countries. An especially important feature of the app is its
link to the Counter Terrorism Bureau's list of travel advisories.
"This is a lifesaving app," said Assaf Bracha, deputy manager of the ministry's
Department for Israelis Abroad and the driving force behind the application's development.
"Any Israeli who downloads it to their smartphone and will find himself in any distress
overseas will be able to use it easily, even with no cell reception." The app also aims to
cut though red tape and improve the public's access to the ministry's services.
According to Bracha, over 5,000 people have downloaded the app since it was launched,
in early July, and it has garnered the interest of various foreign ministries worldwide,
which want to adopt and adapt the Israeli model.
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