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Security Council meets in wake of Jerusalem attack

The United States seeks swift condemnation by the UN Security Council of the Jerusalem attack which killed eight people.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2008 08:55 IST

The United States has sought swift condemnation by the UN Security Council of the Jerusalem attack which killed eight people, but Libya also insisted on censure of Israel for its deadly assault on the Gaza Strip last week.

While on his way to an emergency meeting of the council, US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad said Washington condemned the attack "in the strongest terms possible" and would try to get "an appropriate response" from the 15-member body.

The US delegation circulated a statement in which members of the Security Council would "condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack" in Jerusalem.

Eight students at the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in predominantly Jewish west Jerusalem were killed and another nine wounded when a Palestinian from east Jerusalem entered the building and started shooting, Israeli police said.

Earlier in the day, Israel's UN deputy ambassador Daniel Carmon told AFP that his delegation wanted a "speedy and strong reaction from the council to this terrible act of terrorism."

He said it was up to the 15-member council to decide in what form it should do so.

A US diplomat expressed hope that the US statement could be adopted swiftly and would not be linked to a Libyan draft resolution that "strongly condemns the killing of innocent civilians, including children" by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.

But Libyan delegate Ahmed Gebreel told AFP that the Libyan draft, which was circulated last week, would also be taken up during Thursday's meeting.