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Israel Boycotts Security Council Session on Murder of Abu Jihad

Israel boycotted a meeting of the Security Council Thursday morning, convened to hear charges by Tunisia that its territorial integrity was violated by Israel last week.

The Tunisians complained, in a letter to the Security Council, that an Israel “hit team” assassinated Khalil al-Wazir, second in command of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who was gunned down in a commando-style attack on his villa in a suburb of Tunis early on the morning of April 16. Wazir was popularly known by his nom de guerre, Abu Jihad (father of holy war).

Tunisia’s foreign minister, Mahmound Mestiri, opened debate by charging Israel with “state terrorism” against his country.

The Israel Mission to the United Nations declared in a statement Thursday that the Tunisian complaint contains unsubstantiated and speculative accusations against Israel and, in particular, a false statement that Israel had admitted that it attacked Tunisia.

“To set the record straight, Israel has made no such admission or declared any such intention with regard to Tunisia,” the Israel Mission’s statement said. Therefore, according to the Israelis, the meeting of the Security Council is “inappropriate and without justification and merely serves to focus hostile attention on Israel.”

The Security Council met on the subject for two hours and adjourned until Friday morning. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, meanwhile, obtained a copy of a draft resolution that may be circulated among council members.

The draft asks the Security Council to condemn Israel vigorously for the alleged attack, demands that Israel refrain from any such acts in the future, urges member states to dissuade Israel from taking such actions and requests the secretary general to report back to the Security Council by May 20 on implementation of the resolution.

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