Israel demands UN response to rockets and bomb attack

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations has submitted a complaint to the president of the Security Council and to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding the recent “serious escalation of Palestinian terrorist attacks targeting innocent Israeli civilians”.

Meron Reuben said he wanted to express “grave concern” about this week’s events, including a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into populated areas and the bomb attack in Jerusalem, which left a British tourist dead.

Mr Reuben wrote: “This very troubling attack [on Jerusalem] follows a marked increase in terrorist activity deliberately targeting Israeli civilians over the past several days by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organisations.”

He drew attention to the fact that two Grad-type Katyusha rockets were thrown into Be'er-Sheva, the largest city in Southern Israel and the home of more than 200,000.

He said: “One of these rockets landed in the middle of a residential area in the city, injuring one man and damaging nearby buildings, including a synagogue.”

The ambassador called on the UN Security Council and Secretary-General to “condemn all of these attacks in very clear terms and send a firm message to these terrorists and their patrons.

He said the Security Council did not devote enough attention to preventing the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip.

Mr Reuben added: “Such attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip constitute a clear violation of international law and must be addressed with the utmost seriousness. Israel holds the Hamas terrorist organization - the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip - fully responsible for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip.

“In response to the relentless attacks against it, Israel has exercised and will continue to exercise its right to self-defense, as appropriate, and will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens.

“Israel will also do all in its power to bring to justice the terrorists that committed the horrific crimes against its citizens today in Jerusalem.”

Last updated: 5:06pm, March 24 2011