The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously condemned the terrorist attack at a synagogue in East Jerusalem that claimed 8 lives and left 10 people injured. During an emergency session on January 28 that was scheduled to discuss a deadly IDF raid in the Palestinian city of Jenin, at least two diplomats told Israel-based newspaper The Times of Israel that the UNSC members focused on the terror attack in Jerusalem as a Palestinian opened fire on civilians outside a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood at 20:15 local time (18:15 GMT).
The police, in a statement, noted that the “terrorists” were neutralized on the site of the attack.The Israeli worshippers had gathered at the synagogue on the occasion of the Jewish Sabbath. Among those injured is also a 15-year-old boy, Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency rescue service reportedly informed the reporters on the scene.
The UNSC session, which started 24 hours earlier, would have discussed Israeli military tactics in an operation in Jenin that killed nine Palestinians, the sources told the paper. But instead, it condemned the terror attack in east Jerusalem. The meeting was called by the UAE, China, and France due to concerns about the recent escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf was questioned about the Palestinian Authority’s intention of pursuing action against Israel for the IDF’s raids. One other diplomat told the Israeli paper on condition of anonymity that the UNSC “won’t be able to reach a consensus on this issue.”
“We don’t think it makes sense to be going to international fora at this point. This is exactly the point at which they need to engage with each other and that will be the nature of our discussions with both sets of officials,” Barbara Leaf told the UNSC.
The Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] had earlier noted that its military operation in Jenin targeted a terrorist cell that was preparing for an attack on Israeli territory. The members targetted in the operation were mostly from the terror cell and were gunmen, the IDF justified. At least one civilian was left dead in the raid.
The IDF military raid was widely condemned by the Palestinians in the West Bank, and Gaza, who also celebrated Saturday’s attack. Israel’s police chief Yaakov Shabtai described the terror attack as “one of the worst in the past few years.” “As a result of the shooting attack, the death of 7 civilians was determined and 3 others were injured with additional degrees of injury,” the police chief was reported as saying.
Biden affirms ‘iron-clad US commitment’ to Israel’s security
US President Joe Biden also spoke to his Israeli counterpart Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he berated what he described as the “horrific terrorist attack” outside a Jerusalem synagogue. Biden offered support to Israel’s government and extended solidarity with the people of Israel.
The US President called the attack as one against the civilized world. “He offered all appropriate means of support to the Government and People of Israel over the coming days,” the White House said in a readout of the call between the two leaders. “The President stressed the iron-clad US commitment to Israel’s security, and agreed that his team would remain in constant touch with their Israeli counterparts,” said the White House.
“We mourn those killed in the attack, and our thoughts are with the injured, including children. The notion of people being targeted as they leave a house of worship is abhorrent. It is particularly tragic that this attack occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day,” The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said.