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Netanyahu Blames Hizbullah, Iran for Bulgaria Bombing

By, and VOA News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran is responsible for the terror attack against Israelis in Bulgaria, which killed seven people, including the bomber. Israel has blamed the blast on Iran and its proxy group Iranian-backed Hizbullah and has threatened retaliation.

Iran on Thursday denied it was involved in the suicide attack. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad further said that "the Zionist enemy attempts to hit Iran with blow after blow and is hit harder.

The enemies of Iran have initiated confrontation and are attempting to use all of their powers against Iran, but the Islamic regime continues to stand strong," said Ahmadinejad in regards to the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and the malware viruses detected in Iranian facilities. "I assure the Iranian people that the government will not back down on its principles and values against these materialistic nations," he added in what can be interpreted as a hint that Iran does not intend to change its nuclear policy, despite negotiation talks with the West.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast formally rejected accusations of Tehran's involvement in the attack. "The Zionist regime, which had a direct role in the assassination of our country's scientists, is leveling baseless accusations to divert global attention to its own terrorist nature," Mehmanparast said to IRNA news agency, adding "The Zionist regime is even ready to pursue its political scenarios by putting at risk the lives of people inside or outside the occupied territories." He noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran is itself the biggest victim of terrorism and putting the lives of innocent people is a wrong strategy.

Israeli air force planes flew the dead, wounded and survivors of the Bulgaria bus bombing back home. Other flights took Israeli security and intelligence officials to Bulgaria to assist in the investigation.

"The world's leading powers should make it clear that Iran is the country that stands behind this terror campaign," Netanyahu said. "Iran must be exposed by the international community as the premiere terrorist-supporting state that it is."

Netanyahu, who has threatened to attack Iran's nuclear sites, said the Islamic Republic must be stopped before it is too late. "Everything should be done to prevent Iran, the world's most dangerous regime, from developing the world's most dangerous weapons." The Israeli prime minister said Israel will track down the perpetrators of the bombing in Bulgaria, and they will pay a heavy price.

Bulgarian media says the terrorist was Mehdi Mohammed Ghazali, who belonged to the Global Jihad. According to these reports, which are unconfirmed, Ghazali was arrested in 2009 in southern Pakistan together with his wife and several other people, including seven Turkish nationals with false documents.

Ghazali is reportedly a Swedish citizen, with Algerian and Finnish origins, and had been held at the United States' Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba from 2002 to 2004. Previously, he reportedly studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ghazali used counterfeit American documents, according to ABC. ABC published a photograph of a driver's license which contained the word "Michigan" but listed a phony address in Louisiana. The apparently fake license listed the man's name as Jacques Philippe Martin.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov told the families of the victims of the terror attack that he hoped the attack would be "yours and our last disaster." Misezhnikov spoke on behalf of the government in a state ceremony at the Ben Gurion Airport, after the coffins of the five victims landed in Israel. Before the minister spoke, IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz read Psalms and recited the Kaddish prayer.

"We stand here in front of the coffins and the heart breaks - five coffins and one giant hole in the heart," said Misezhnikov. "They were in the prime of their lives when the heaven they went to turned into a hell. The sin for which they were killed was one and only – that they were Israelis and Jews. These miscreants went all the way to the Black Sea to hurt them intentionally."

Approved: 1,341 Housing Units for Senior Citizen Olim


Israel's Inter-ministerial committee on public land construction on Thursday approved in principle a decision to build 1, 341 housing units for new immigrant senior citizens who are eligible for public housing. The units will be built in nine cities throughout the country: Ashdod, Bat Yam, Haifa, Kfar Saba, Carmiel, Rishon L'Zion, Rehovot, Kiryat Ono and Tel Aviv.

This is the first step in a project to construct 4,000 housing units for senior citizens on public land as approved in the housing section of the Trajtenberg Committee recommendations a few months ago. The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption stated that the implementation of the project will be determined at a later date and that the ministry offered a budget of NIS 110 million ($27.73 million) for the construction of the housing units.

Some 39,000 new immigrants who are senior citizens and fulfill the ministry's criteria for State funded housing currently reside in Israel. The Trajtenberg Committee findings revealed that there are currently 2,460 families waiting for public housing and some 450 senior citizens waiting to receive hostel housing.

Yet these numbers do not include the new immigrants who are eligible for public housing. Official data received in 2010 from a ministry official revealed that the number of new immigrants eligible for public housing is 39,401.

Over the last three years the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption has managed to supply some 10,000 with housing solutions. Minister Sofa Landver said: "I welcome the decision, which is a first step in the construction of 4,000 housing units which we promised and see it as another step in the Absorption Ministry's efforts to find housing solutions for the new immigrant population."


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