Bulgaria court convicts two over 2012 Burgas bus attack on Israelis


image copyrightAFP

image captionBulgarian prosecutors said the evidence linked the defendants and the attack to Hezbollah

A Bulgarian court has sentenced two men to life in jail over a bus bombing in 2012 that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver.

Meliad Farah, a Lebanese-Australian, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Lebanese-Canadian, were found guilty of helping a Lebanese-French man who prosecutors said died after planting the bomb.

Their whereabouts are not known.

Prosecutors linked the attack to militant group Hezbollah. It denied involvement.

Hezbollah has been accused of carrying out a string of bombings and plots against Jewish and Israeli targets, and it is designated a terrorist organisation by several Western states and Israel.

The EU put Hezbollah’s military wing on its terrorism blacklist after the bombing.

  • Bulgaria names anti-Israeli bomber

  • Hezbollah fury at Bulgaria bomb link
  • Profile: Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement

How did the attack happen?

On 18 July 2012, a bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded outside the airport in the Bulgarian Black sea report of Burgas.

The following year, Bulgarian authorities named Meliad Farah and Hassan El Hajj Hassan as suspects in the bombing.

Prosecutors said the two men entered the country the month before the attack using fake ID documents, along with the bomber, who was later identified through DNA analysis as Lebanese-French dual national Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini. Farah and Hassan are thought to have left Bulgaria soon after the attack.

In 2016, Farah and Hassan were charged with complicity in an act of terrorism.

Prosecutors accused them of providing the explosive device and logistical support to El-Husseini, and said the evidence linked them to Hezbollah.

On Monday, Sofia’s Specialised Criminal Court found Farah and Hassan guilty and sentenced them to life in prison without parole. They were also ordered to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

“The court’s sentence reflects the punishment we asked for and is adequate to the committed crimes. Whether it will be served or not will be a result of the search of the wanted persons, which is ongoing,” Prosecutor Evgeniya Shtarkelova was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Related Topics

  • Israel

  • Lebanon
  • Bulgaria
  • Hezbollah



Source link

Ignoring virus rules, Israelis call on Netanyahu to resign


The demonstrations restarted hours after the end of the Jewish new year holiday, Rosh Hashana. Netanyahu’s government imposed the new lockdown just hours before the holiday began.

Israel’s first lockdown, in March and April, put a damper on Passover, the Jewish spring holiday marking the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.

Protesters in costume during a demonstration against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.Credit:AP

Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three separate cases. His criminal trial began in June, but he has refused to step down from office and denies any wrongdoing.

After moving quickly to contain an outbreak last spring, Israel appears to have reopened its economy too quickly. The country now has one of the highest per-capita rates of coronavirus in the world, and critics say the new lockdown measures will hurt an already struggling economy.



Source link

Israelis Adhere to Social Distancing While Protesting ‘Anti-Democratic’ COVID-19 Measures



Israelis practiced social distancing during a protest against what were described as “anti-democratic” measures taken by the government to fight COVID-19, Haaretz said. More than 2,000 protesters attended the “Black Flag” demonstration on April 19 to show disapproval of measures that include the use of phone data to track people confirmed to have COVID-19, and those potentially infected. Marking out spots two meters apart on the ground where protesters could stand was a police requirement for the demonstration to go ahead. Israel had reported more than 13,600 COVID-19 cases and at least 173 deaths as of April 20. Credit: Protest organizers via Storyful



Source link