UNITED NATIONS, Aug 20 (KUNA) - The Security Council failed late Friday to condemn the "terrorist" attacks on Israel Thursday because Lebanon and some other Council members objected to the language of a US-drafted press statement.
The draft statement would have the Council condemn the "terrorist" attacks by gunmen, Israel believes they are affiliated with Hamas, who crossed into southern Israel from Egypt on Thursday and attacked two buses, one carrying Israeli soldiers, killing a total of eight.
Lebanon and other Non-Aligned members on the Council, diplomats said, did not accept the use of "terrorist attacks" because the gunmen were after a military target - soldiers.
Israel retaliated by attacking Gaza by air late Thursday and Friday killing some 20 civilians, including children.
US Deputy Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo told reporters "this is standard language on terrorist acts, which this council has adopted many times. We think the council has to speak out on this issue. We find it regrettable that because of one delegation we could not issue that in a timely manner." Palestinian Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour told reporters following the Council closed-door meeting "it is very unfortunate that the Security Council was unable to reach a common understanding in a balanced way to condemn the killing of all innocent civilians, including those in the Gaza Strip, and to call for the immediate cessation of the intensification of attacks against our people in Gaza." "Of course we condemn the killing of innocent civilians regardless of where they are," he stressed.
He said the Council also discussed behind closed doors the issue of Israeli ongoing settlement activities.
"It is unfortunate that there was no acceptance of any reaction with regard to the settlement activities," he added. (end) sj.rk KUNA 201021 Aug 11NNNN