Washington's ambassador to the United Nations has criticized the Security Council for failing to condemn the latest terrorist attack in Israel.
The envoy singled out Algeria for blocking a U.S. drafted statement.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton issued a statement Tuesday unequivocally condemning the bomb attack in the Israeli town of Netanya that killed at least five people. The unusual action came after a U.S. attempt to have the statement issued by the Security Council was rejected.
Diplomats attending the meeting say several Council members raised concerns about language in the U.S.-drafted document. Ambassador Bolton, however, blamed Algeria for quashing the measure by objecting to a passage urging Syria to close offices of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which claims responsibility for the attack. "Other governments had questions about particular language. We were perfectly prepared to engage in discussions about constructive suggestions, but Algeria categorically refused to name Syria and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," he said.
The U.S. envoy later read the text of the statement to reporters, and lashed out at the Council for what he called "failing to speak the truth".
He said "you have to speak up in response to these terrorist attacks. It's a great shame that the Security Council couldn't speak to this terrorist attack in Netanya, but if the Council won't speak, the United States will."
Algeria's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Baali said he had objected to what he called a "lack of balance" in the U.S.-drafted statement. He noted that Russia and other countries had also raised concerns about the tone of the document. "Some delegations moved to introduce some amendments, including Algeria and Russia, others, so we are willing to have a text as long as it is a balanced text. Now obviously it is not a take it or leave it text, it is a text to be discussed by the experts, and as I said we are willing to have a text as long as it satisfied all of us," he said.
The Council has in the past issued consensus statements condemning terrorist attacks.
Ambassador Bolton noted Tuesday that despite the Council's failure to act in this case, the Netanya suicide attack had been condemned by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas's chief of staff.
News reports say Palestinian police arrested three Islamic Jihad militants from the West Bank area where the bomber lived.