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July 27, 2012

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 27, 2012 Saks TELAVIV (JTA)--Vered Kuza was standingwith her daughter, Amit, on an airport shuttle bus at Sarafovo International Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, when she suddenly heard a blast. "It's an attack!" Kuza, 54, shouted at Amit, 26. "We need to get out of here!" She pushed her daughter through the door just as the bus exploded. Kuza was knocked unconscious. Her daughter landed on the ground, debris ripping into her left shoulder, through her chest and down to her liver. W en Vered Kuza regained consciousness, her feet '`were swollen to a ridiculous size." Her daughter was nowhere to be seen. "Everything was broken," KuzatoldJTA, lyinginahospital survlvors reca bed in a Tel Aviv emergency After'the bomb exploded, "were less seriously hurt than room on Thursday, her feet "I walked toward the exit and we expectecL" wrapped in gauze and plastic calledtomywife,'C'ometoward The IDF Medical Corps and a red No. 2 scrawled on thedoor!'"hetoldYnet."Affera landed in Bulgaria on the night her forehead. "There were fewsecondslrealizedshewasn't of July 20 to tend to the victims body parts around me. I didn't with me. The fogwas thick like andbring them back to Israel. know what was happening. It sand, and I went to look for her Kreis said that the injuries the was smoking, hellish. It was but it was impossible to get corps saw were similar to those horrifying." through." suffered bybus bombingvictims FiveIsraelisdiedintheattack Kuza was one of 33 Israelis in Israel. that Kuza survived. Accord' injuredintheattacktobeflown Anairportsecuritycameraat ing to Israeli reports, the five back to Israel's Ben-Gurion the Sarafovo airport in Burgas deceased are Amir Menashe, Airport on the afternoon of revealed that the bomber was a 27; Itzik Kolengi, 27; childhood July 19 and sent to hospitals Caucasian man with long hair friends Maor Harush, 26, and throughout the country, ac- and a backpack who had been Elior Priess, 26; and Kochava cording to the Israel Defense wandering around the area for Shriki, 44. In addition, the bus Forces. Her daughter was one about an hour. He reportedly driver and suicide bomber died of three Israelis who were too was carrying a fake Michigan in the attack, seriously injured to make the driver's license. YnetNewsreportedthatmin- trip and remained hospitalized Israeli Prime Minister Ben- Utes before the attack, Shriki in Bulgaria. jamin Netanyahu quickly called her sister and told her The head of the IDF Medical accused Iran of sponsoring that she was pregnant for the Corps, Itzik Kreis, said that the attack. In a statement on first time. Shriki's husband, the injured passengers who July 19, Netanyahu called on Yitzhak, survived and spent arrived in Israel "got very good "the world's leading powers" hours searching for his wife. medical care in Bulgaria" and to recognize "that Iran is the country thatstandsbehind this glass of water. They don't know terror campaign. Iran must be English. It was primitive." exposed by the international Bulgarian officials told Kuza community as the premier that her daughter was in Sofia terrorist-supporting state that and in a stable condition. But it is." Kuza was not able to speak to Israeli Foreign Minister her daughter until the morn- Avigdor Lieberman said he had ing of July 19. Amit and the informationthattheattackwas two others who had remained the joint work of the Lebanese in Bulgaria were scheduled to terrorist organization Hezbol- arrive in Israel on the evening lahandthe Iranian Revolution- of July 19. ary Guard Corps, according to When news of the attack The JerusalemPost. reached Israel, Arik Kuza, Iran has denied the allega- Vered's husband, called the tions. Foreign Ministry to find out if Soon after the attack, Anait hiswifeanddaughterwerealive. Kuzawas taken by paramedics "I called 50 times," he said, to a hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria's standing at Vered's bedside. capital. Her mother"sat on the 'qlaey put me on hold and I side of the mad," unattended heardmusic.Iwaitedforhours." for two hours because she was Lying in her hospital bed, she deemed to be in stable condi- spoke in a calm and even tone. tion, she said. With her daughter scheduled to "Ihadnoonetotalkto,"Vered arrive in a few hours, she said Kuza said. "I didn't even have a she felt lucky to be alive. By Marcy Oster (JTA)--A Black Sea coast town in Bulgaria became the scene of carnage when a bus carrying Israeli tourists exploded, killing at least five people and injuring at least 33. Nine people reportedly were rnissing. The explosion July 18 at Sarafovo International Airport in Burgas hit one of three tour buses carrying Israelis, Israel's Channel 1 reported. Some news re- ports said a suicide bomber boarded the bus as it was taking the Israeli tourists to the terminal Others quoted Burgas Mayor Dimitar Niko- lov as saying that explosives were in the luggage area of the bus. A video on Ynet showed black smoke billowing up- ward. Sirens at the scene Israeli Defense Minister sovereign country, a mem- the IsraelAir Force and the rorist attack, according to could be heard. Ehud Barak added, "This ber of the EU, is a provoca- MedicalCorpstosendateamThe Associated Press. "As Theattack, which Israel's is clearly a terrorist attack tion at the efforts of the toBulgariaJuly18toprovide Israel has tragically once government is blaming on initiatedprobablybyHezbol- democratic society towards medical care and to assist more been a target of ter- Iran, comes on the 18th lah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad world peace," Borisov said, those injured as they return rorism, the United States anniversary of the terrorist or another group under the according to the FOCUS to Israel. The team is led by reaffirms our unshakeable attack on the AMIA Jewish terror auspices of either News Agency. "I guarantee a senior IDF officer and in- commitment to Israel's se- center in Buenos Aires that Iran or other radical Islamic. that we will investigate this cludes doctors specializing curity, and our deep friend- left 85 people dead. Israel, groups. We are in a continual incident so as to punish the in trauma, orthopedics, in- ship and solidarity with the Argentina and many other fight against them. We are perpetrators with the entire tensive care, surgery, burns Israeli people ". governments blame Iranian determined to identify who severeness of the law. I am and pediatrics. Immediately after the agents for that incident; Teh- sent them, who perpetrated convinced that the Bulgar- Likewise, theIsrael-based explosion, Ben Gurion ran denies the allegations. [the attack], and to settle the ian and the Israeli nations ZAKA Rescue and Recovery International Airport was "All signs point to Iran," account." will get stronger and more Organization told JTA that closed, delaying 11 flights.' Israeli Prime Minister Ben- The Lebanese-based He-united after this tragedy." it hired a private jet to fly However, the airport re- jamin Netanyahu said. "In zbollah, which is armed by The mayor of the Bulgar- to Burgas. The plane, which opened between 2 a.m. and just the past few months Iran, denied responsibility iancapitalofSofia, hometo was scheduled to land in 5 a.m. to allow the flights we'veseen Iran try to target for the attack, according to nearly 5,000 Jews, ordered Bulgaria at about 11 p.m. to proceed Israelis in Thailand, India, thewebsite stepped-up police patrols tff local time, is reported Georgia, Cyprus and more. Bulgarian Prime Min- areas linked-to the Jewish seven volunteers, a doctor that Bulgarian authorities The murderous Iranian ister Boyko Borisov said community, according to and aparamedic, as well as foiled a bomb attack in terror continues to target his government "strongly reports, medical equipment to help January on a charter bus innocent people This is a condemns this aggression Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz,identify the Israelis who for Israeli tourists heading global Iranian terror on- and terrorism." the chief of staff of the Is- were killed, from the Turkish border to a slaught and Israel will react "Such a horrible actcom- rael Defense Forces, ordered President Obama con- Bulgarianskiresort.Abomb forcefully to it." mitted on the territory of a the Home Front Command, demned .the "barbaric ter- was found on the bus. Burgas From page 1A our program. We don't want were expectedtovisitBulgaria tiveness ofadditionalsecurity this to become 'the summer this year. Some 20 percent of measures in the long run. The camp has taken addi- camp of the terrorist attack.'" standing reservations from "The biggest security gap tional precautions as well, he The flow of Israeli tourists Israel have been canceled is in the extremist's mind," said, without offering details, into Bulgaria picked up in since the attack, she said. "We need to reach "Wewanttobeefupsecurity 2009, following the deteriora- Tania Reytan, a sociolo- out more to the other corn- without causing panic," Levi tion in Israel's relations with gist at the University of Sofia munities and explain who we said. "We try to tell the chil- Turkey, Bulgaria's minister of who is Jewish and promotes are and what our values are." drenaslittleaspossibleabout tourism was quoted as saying interfaith dialogue, said she ThoughBulgariahasapro- the attack and continue with that nearly 150,000 Israelis has limited faith in the,effec- Israel foreign policy, she said, A Senior Eiving Community where Hospitali is away of Life. Assisted Living - Rehabilitation and Skilled. Nursing-Care Variety of Apartment Suite Selections, some with Lake Views Weekly Happy Hour hosted by the Jewish Pavilion Monthly Shabbat Service " - n Monthly Bagels and Lox tuncheo Special Celebrations and Meals during High Holy Holidays tall us today, stop by for a vis join us for lunch, or all of the 1301 W, Maitl~: Blvd! * Maitland, FL 32751 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751 407 -645-3990 Assisted L~ving Facility License No, 8447 Skilled Nursing Facility License No. 1635096 *'~;.~o~ "Israel is always mentioned in a negative context in Bul- garia." The terrorists picked Bulgaria, she said, "because they sought for the weakest link in the European Union, and they found it." Some observers re worried that the attack could have negative repercussions for the generally positive relations between Bulgarian Jews and Muslims. Approximately eight percent ofBulgaria's 7 million people are Muslim, the vast majority of them ethnic Turks. Bulgaria has an estimated 3,500 to 5,700 Jews. Relations between Jews and Muslims in Bulgaria have historically been "peaceful and friendly," said Benvenisti, president of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria. On July 19, Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Ts- vetanov said the bomber was believed to have been about 36 years old and had been in the country between four and seven days. "We cannot exclude the possibility that he had logistical support on Bulgarian territory," the minister said. He declined to elaborate. Nitzan Nuriel, former head of Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau, speculated that the suicide bomber might have been homegrown either recruited locally or having crossed over from Turkey. Representatives of Bul- garia's Muslim community issued strong condemnations of the attack, as did repre- sentatives of various other ethnic and religious groups and associations. "We refuse to believe that the bomber is a Bulgarian Muslim. We don't believe that any of them could Undertake such action," said Ahmed Ahmedov, spokesman for the chief Bulgarian mufti. Mufti Mustafa Alsih Had- zhi, in an official statement to the Bulgarian media, de- nounced the July 18 attack as a "barbarian act" and expressed condolences with the families of the victims. Ahmedov said that the attack should not be interpreted as a religious act, but as some kind of"economic provocation" aimed at crip- pling the local tourist busi- ness. Despite the attack, some Israelis seem undeterred from coming to Bulgaria. Rabbi Yossi Halperin of Varna--a city about 50 miles north of Burgas and where flights to and from Burgas were rerouted after the attack--said he found~'a good number of recent ar- rivals" from Israel when he went to Varna's airport "to help people through all the confusion." Svetlana Guineva reported for tht story from Sofia, Bulgaria; Cnaan Liphshiz reported from The Hague, andDianna Cahncontributed to this report from Belgrade, Serbia.