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U.N. asks Israel to pay Lebanon $856 million in compensation

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BEIRUT: The U.N. General Assembly Friday asked Israel to pay Lebanon $856.4 million as compensation for the oil slick the Jewish state caused during the July 2006 war.
The U.N. has previously requested that Israel compensate Lebanon for the slick, but this was the first time that a monetary figure was set by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Addressing the General Assembly, Lebanon’s ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam said the decision was a victory for the concept of justice.
“For the first time since Israel’s aggression on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted today by majority of 170 out of 179, Resolution No. 69/212 acknowledging a compensation in the amount of $856.4 million up to date, which Israel has to pay for the damages inflicted on Lebanon in the immediate aftermath of the Jiyyeh attack,” Salam said in a statement.
Israel has repeatedly refused to compensate Lebanon, despite the many calls by the General Assembly.
Salam said Lebanon considered the resolution to be major progress, especially as a figure has been put forward as a basis for compensation using a clear and legal method of calculation that takes into account the value of direct and indirect damage.
“The resolution also paves the way for further compensation into other areas of damages, such as health, ecosystem services as habitat, potential ground water examination and marine diversity,” the ambassador said.
Salam pledged that Lebanon would continue to mobilize all resources and resort to all legal measures to see that the resolution is fully implemented, and that specific compensation is paid promptly.
“Furthermore, its adoption asserts the will of the overwhelming majority of the international community to hold countries responsible for their wrongful international acts, a clear manifestation of which is Israel’s attacks on the Jiyyeh electric power plant in 2006,” he added.
But there is doubt that Israel will comply with the U.N. resolution, especially since it is not binding. Only the Security Council resolutions are binding for all members of the U.N.
Israel has not yet reacted to the U.N. resolution.
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