UN Security Council
UN Security Council Reuters

The United Nations (UN) Security Council  on Wednesday strongly condemned the "despicable terrorist attack" on a Jerusalem synagogue in which five people were murdered, calling on Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders to restore calm.

In a unanimous statement quoted by the AFP news agency, the 15-member council expressed concern over rising Israeli-Palestinian tensions and stressed the importance of condemning the violence after Hamas hailed the attack.

The council "encouraged Israeli and Palestinian leaders and citizens to work together to lower tension, reject violence, avoid all provocations and seek a path toward peace."

In a reference apparently directed at Israel over possible reprisals, the council "reminded states that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law."

Diplomats said the statement was issued following discussions with the United States, which consulted with Israel over the wording.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack on Tuesday with a statement calling on both sides to "make the difficult decisions" needed to revive the peace process.

Responding to the Security Council’s condemnation of the attack, Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said on Wednesday night, "It is too bad that only after Israelis are massacred during prayer that the Security Council remembers to break its silence about Palestinian violence, despite repeated warnings from us.”

"Now that the international community has realized that the Palestinians have crossed all the red lines and, in order to stop the bloodshed, it must stop handing out candy to the Palestinians and stop its support for unilateral actions,” he added.

The PA has been threatening to turn to the Security Council with a resolution setting a deadline for Israel to “end the occupation”, a unilateral move that is in violation of the Oslo Accords.

The move has been accompanied by threats, with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas having recently threatened to cut ties with Israel if his latest unilateral move at the UN fails.