Israel dismisses accusations that it was behind Beirut bombing

( Current and former Israeli officials dismissed Lebanese accusations that the Jewish state was behind Thursday’s car bomb in a Hezbollah-controlled area in southern Beirut that killed 22 people.

Lebanese President Michael Suleiman, pictured, accused Israel of being behind Thursday's Beirut bombing. Credit: White House photo by Lawrence Jackson.

Lebanese President Michael Suleiman said the Beirut bombing bore the fingerprints of terrorism and Israel, intended to undermine the stability of the strong Lebanese people.” The country’s interior minister, Marwan Charbel, said the bombing “was carefully prepared,” and that “one of the theories is that it could have been an Israeli retaliation for the Labouneh operation,” referring to a Hezbollah attack that wounded four Israeli soldiers last week on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said he was surprised by the accusations.

“Why blame Israel?” Peres said. “It is Hezbollah that is amassing bombs and killing people in Syria without the permission of the Lebanese government.”

Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom told Army Radio on Friday that Israel has “gotten used to accusations of this kind.”

“They should be ignored,” Yatom said of the accusations. “There is almost no act in the Middle East that Israel’s opponents don’t attribute to it. But these are internal matters for these countries. We have enough problems of our own, so it wouldn't be wise to get involved.”

Posted on August 16, 2013 .