Israel attacks Syria over support of Islamic Jihad
Syria, the current U.N. Security Council leader, was put on the spot when Israel urged the council to demand it stop supporting Palestinian groups — including one behind a deadly bus bombing this week.
In a letter sent to Syria's U.N. Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe, who is council president this month, the Israeli ambassador urged the international community to demand that Syria immediately halt its support for "terrorist groups" such as Islamic Jihad.
"Israel is appalled that a member of the Security Council continues to lend its support to organizations committed to the deliberate murder of civilians," Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Lancry said in the letter, according to AP. He said such actions violate Security Council resolutions mandating that members must prevent financial or other support for “terrorist” organizations.
"It is astounding that Syria is brazenly supporting attempts to subvert the anti-terrorist objectives of an international body of which it itself is president," he said.
Lancry noted that Islamic Jihad's claim of responsibility for Wednesday's suicide attack in northern Israel, which killed 17 Israelis, came from the group's headquarters in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
"The objective of the letter is both to denounce the Syrian support to the terrorist groups in its territory and to unmask Syria as an unworthy member of the Security Council — let alone as president of the council," Lancry said in an interview.
Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Thursday lashed out at Damascus, saying it shares in the blame for Wednesday's Megiddo bus bombing, because Damascus is harboring "terrorist" organizations.
Peres made the accusation during a series of media interviews, including one with Qatar-based al-Jazeera television, in which he noted that the orders for the deadly attack were given by Islamic Jihad leader Abdallah Ramadan Shalah from his base in Damascus.
Peres, speaking to reporters at the Israel Export Institute Conference in Tel Aviv, said Syria plays host to no fewer than 10 "terror" organizations headquartered in Damascus, including Islamic Jihad.
"I said that Ramadan Shalah, who is the commander of the Jihad forces and who lives and operates in Syria, said that he had given the order. I place responsibility on Syria, which hosts 10 terrorist headquarters in Damascus," Peres said.
The council also received a letter Thursday from the Palestinians, who demanded international condemnation of the six-hour Israeli retribution attack and immediate Security Council intervention to end such incursions.
"As Israel continues to perpetrate such dangerous and destructive actions ... immediate intervention by the council has become imperative," Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian U.N. observer, said in his letter. (Albawaba.com)
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