WASHINGTON - Israel turned to the United Nations Security Council Monday demanding the world body condemn the suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv that killed nine people.
The Council was already set to convene Monday to discuss Palestinian demands that Israel be condemned for military actions in Gaza two weeks ago, and Israel is hoping to turn the tables by using the opportunity to pass a decision condemning the Palestinians..
Under instructions from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman asked the Security Council to condemn the attack. Israel also turned to the United States and to European members of the Security Council, including France, Britain and Denmark, and in the evening hours an informal meeting was held at the American embassy to pen a draft resolution condemning the attack.
Last week the United States vetoed a statement by the President of the Security Council condemning IDF operations. After the Arab lobby that pushed for the resolution realized that America will use its veto right, lobby members demanded the Security Council meet and intended to use the stage for the purpose of speeches by Arab U.N. envoys to condemn Israel.
Israel on its part is seeking to use the special meeting to demand a condemnation of the Palestinians after the attack. Israel will also ask the Council renew calls on Hamas to respect earlier Quartet demands. A call on Hamas to respect Quartet demands was supported by 14 out of 15 Security Council members two weeks ago. Qatar, the current representative of Arab states, did not join the call.
The American administration condemned the attack in Tel Aviv as a "adespicable act of terrorism for which no excuse or justification is possible."
White House spokesperson Scott McClellan sent condolences to the families of victims, to the people and government of Israel, and wished the injured fast recovery.
"The burden of responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks such as this one rests with the Palestinian Authority. We have noted reactions by several Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, that defend, or even applaud, the barbaric acts of terror committed in Tel Aviv today, as we have noted President Abbas's quick denunciation of it. Defense or sponsorship of terrorist acts by officials of the Palestinian cabinet will have the gravest effects on relations between the Palestinian Authority and all states seeking peace in the Middle East," McClellan said.