Israel to 'compensate for only UN attack' in deadly Gaza offensive

Israel has agreed in principle to compensate losses UN suffered during the Gaza war a year ago as the enclave has been still suffering by war damages.

Israel to 'compensate for only UN attack' in deadly Gaza offensive

Israel has agreed in principle to compensate losses the United Nations suffered during the Gaza war a year ago as the enclave has been still suffering by war damages without financial aids, a U.N. spokesman said on Thursday.

Spokesman Martin Nesirky declined to give a figure or other details of the accord. A U.N. inquiry last year put the cost of damage to U.N. property in Gaza war at over $11 million, almost all of it caused by Israeli forces.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1434 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

In its land, sea and ar offensive, Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

Another U.N. official who asked not to be identified said $10.5 million was "the figure that has been bandied about, but nothing has been finalized."

The Jewish state, however, agreed to consider a U.N. compensation request sent in July.

"Agreement has been reached in principle on the terms of an arrangement under which Israel would make a payment to the United Nations," Nesirky told reporters.

The United Nations is awaiting a "green light" from the Israeli government on the deal and expects it "imminently," he said. "When that green light is given, an agreement will be formalized between the United Nations and Israel and a payment will be made."

Nesirky said the issue had come up during a telephone conversation on Tuesday between U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

U.N. officials said the compensation related primarily to property since there had been no U.N. loss of life.

The main damage to U.N. property in Gaza came on Jan. 15 when Israeli shells, some containing white phosphorus, hit a compound of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), badly damaging a warehouse and training center. Several U.N.-run schools were hit in other strikes.

UNRWA provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

Reuters
Last Mod: 08 Ocak 2010, 15:19
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