, Arab League permanent representatives today called on the UN Security Council to act swiftly to prevent fresh Israeli strikes against Syria and stop what they called state terrorism by the Jewish state.

The council of delegates “calls on the Security Council to intervene immediately to prevent Israel from pursuing its provocative and aggressive policies against Syria”, a communique said after an urgent meeting to discuss Israel's strike into Syrian territory earlier today.

The council “calls on the Security Council to put an immediate and firm stop to the organised state terrorism and the practices of the Israeli occupiers against the Palestinian people as well as Syria and Lebanon,” in order to prevent escalation and instability in the region, the statement said.

The delegates also condemned the Israeli strike, which they said hit a civilian area. Israel said it targeted a training camp near the Syrian capital Damascus used by Palestinian militants, including Islamic Jihad.

In Beirut, a Palestinian official said two guards were wounded at a “facility” used by a radical wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the PFLP-General Command.

He denied it was a training camp but did not give its use.

The Arab permanent representatives said Israel would be to blame for any consequences which might result from the strike.

Syria has urged the UN Security Council today to adopt a resolution condemning Israel's air raid on the purported Palestinian training base.

Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman accused Syria of providing “safe harbour, training facilities, funding, logistical support” to terrorist organisations.

He called the air strike a “measured defensive response” and “a clear act of self-defence” in line with international law.

Gillerman said it was ironic that a country, which Israel accuses of harbouring terrorists, should call for a meeting to condemn the attack.

It was “as if (Osama) bin laden would have asked for a Security Council meeting after 9/11,” Gillerman said before the meeting. He said it was ironic that no council meeting was called to condemn the attack on Israeli civilians in Haifa yesterday.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the air strike, and a statement from his office said the UN chief was concerned that the “escalation of an already tense and difficult situation has the potential to broaden the scope of current conflicts in the Middle East.”

France, a permanent Security Council member, criticised the bombing of what Israel said was an Islamic Jihad training base in Syria as an “unacceptable violation” of both international law and rules of sovereignty.

The Israeli operation “constitutes an unacceptable violation of international law and rules of sovereignty,” said a statement by Cecile Pozzo di Borgo, spokeswoman for France's Foreign Ministry.
Source: Reuters and AP