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World Community Condemns Israeli Raid on Syria


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"France condemned the air strike inside Syria, saying it was 'an unacceptable violation of international law' and risked worsening the already parlous situation in the Middle East .."

CAIRO - The Israeli overnight raid on an alleged training camp used by the Islamic Jihad deep inside the Syrian territories has drawn world condemnations and was described as "dangerous escalation" which threatens the stability of the region.

Israeli warplanes mounted an air strike on Ain as-Saheb region some 35 kilometers (21 miles) west of Damascus, despite the disengagement treaty signed by both countries in 1974.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak condemned Sunday, October 5, the raid, which violated "the sovereignty of a third country," reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"The raid violates the sovereignty of a third country complicates further the (peace) process, that's why what happened in Syria cannot be accepted," Schroeder said at a press conference in Cairo with Mubarak, who is among the first European leaders to react to the air strike.

Mubarak, for his part, said that "we condemn the violence and we condemn the aggression that happened today against a brother country (Syria), under the pretext of the presence of (Palestinian) organizations."

And, in an allusion to the Haifa attack on Maxim restaurant, the Egyptian leader denounced the "intensification of violence and counter-violence and their negative repercussions on civilians."

"I believe it is necessary to launch an immediate and effective action for a ceasefire and for both sides to start serious political negotiations, otherwise things will get complicated," Mubarak said in the ornate Arab-style presidential palace.

Earlier Sunday, Mubarak called for a fresh effort by the international diplomatic "quartet" on the Middle East to restore calm.

He called on the quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- to design a "neutral and efficient mechanism to monitor the implementation" of its "roadmap" to Middle East peace.

Such a mechanism should "bring violence and counter-violence under control and launch serious negotiations" to bring about a Palestinian state, Mubarak said in a speech marking the 30th anniversary of the victory of 1973 war against Israel.

'Unacceptable Violation'

France condemned the air strike inside Syria, saying it was "an unacceptable violation of international law" and risked worsening the already parlous situation in the Middle East.

"In a Middle East rocked by crises, it is everybody's responsibility, especially that of states in the region, to not add to the instability and tensions. The struggle against terrorism, to which France is resolutely committed, must be carried out in line with international law," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"France appeals for restraint so that reason might overcome the risk of escalation," it said.

France is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, while Syria holds a temporary seat on the body.

International Law

The British Foreign Office, for its part, said that Israel must comply with international law.

"Israel is of course entitled to take steps to protect itself from terrorist attacks but these steps should be within international law," a ministry spokesman told AFP.

"We have already urged and will continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint," he added.

He said the international "roadmap offers a good basis for a peaceful settlement but every act of violence only makes it more difficult to get back to that process."

'Dangerous Escalation'

"The attack is aggression against a brother country which could drag the entire region into a downward spiral of violence," Moasher

Jordan also condemned the Israeli raid, calling it "aggression" and a "dangerous escalation," the Jordanian news agency Petra reported.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Moasher said the attack is "aggression against a brother country which could drag the entire region into a downward spiral of violence," Petra said.

Moasher also hit out at both the raid and Saturday's attack in Haifa, saying that "the time has come to radically reconsider such military operations and operations carried out by certain organizations such as yesterday's."

The minister expressed concern regarding this "dangerous escalation in step of Israeli violence which does not at all help the peace process."

"We cannot stay in this spiral of violence which threatens the peace process, and Israel has to realize that its current policies are not leading to regional stability," Moasher said.

The Jordanian foreign minister emphasized the need to speed up the "roadmap" peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians which "guarantees reciprocal commitments and puts an end to Israeli occupation."

Iraqi Council Condemns

A senior assistant to Iyad Allawi, the current president of Iraq's Governing Council, also denounced the Israeli escalation, saying such actions undermined the Middle East peace process.

"We don't accept any military operation against any country in the region because it will stop the peace process in the whole area," Ibrahim Janadi, the executive secretary of Allawi's Iraqi National Accord, told AFP.

Allawi is the head of the interim Governing Council in Iraq for October and the security chief of the U.S.-selected body. He was not immediately available to comment on the Israeli raid.

The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting later Sunday to discuss the "Israeli aggression" against Syria, said its assistant secretary general, Ahmed ben Helli.

"An emergency meeting at the level of delegates (Arab ambassadors) will be held Sunday evening to discuss the Israeli aggression against a place sheltering Palestinian refugees in Syria," he said.

Source: IslamOnline.net + News Agencies

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