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Israeli Terror Victims Arrive Home from Bulgaria

The wounded victims of Wednesday's suicide attack have arrived home from Bulgaria.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/19/2012, 1:12 PM

Nurit Harush, wounded in terror attack in Bulgaria airport
Nurit Harush, wounded in terror attack in Bulgaria airport
Reuters

The wounded victims of Wednesday's suicide terrorist attack at a Bulgarian airport have arrived home in Israel, with 32 of the wounded victims touching down in an IAF Hercules military transport aircraft at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Among them was Israeli Nurit Harush, photographed by Reuters as she was pushed in a stretcher by medics after her arrival.

Three others who were critically injured have remained in a hospital in Sofia, but will later be flown to Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office issued a statement thanking Prof. Gabriel Barbash, Director-General of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, who is in Bulgaria and who was involved in organizing treatment and transport of the terror victims.

Netanyahu and Barbash were in contact Thursday morning to discuss logistics and other issues regarding the victims.

Israeli paramedics interviewed on Army Radio said that some victims waited for hours in the airport and refused all treatment – not because it was not offered, but rather because they refused to allow anyone other than another Israeli to touch them.

One of the ZAKA workers said personnel were working under “very difficult conditions.” The targeted tour bus was described as completely incinerated, a second one parked nearby as "mostly burnt." The atmosphere in which the recovery teams are working is, he said, "capricious.

“The authorities are not allowing us free access to the bodies that we are trying to identify,” he said. “We get a few minutes at a time, and then we are sent out. Then we can go in, and a few minutes later we are suddenly sent out again.

“By law, we cannot take the bodies out of the country until definite identification is made, which makes matters more complicated.”

Six people were killed in the attack, including five Israelis and one Bulgarian national. Israeli citizen Yitzhak Shriki was photographed by Reuters while searching for his wife and talking with medics outside a hospital in Burgas, a city about 400 km (248 miles) east of Sofia.

The suicide bomber who committed the attack entered the country on a U.S. passport that was allegedly falsified, authorities said. Israel has accused Iranian-backed Hizbullah terrorists of carrying out the attack, and has vowed to retaliate.