Israel to pay UN for damages suffered in 2008-2009 Gaza military action

10:57, January 08, 2010      

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Israel has agreed in principle to pay the United Nations for damages the world organization and its personnel suffered during the December 2008-January 2009 attacks in Gaza, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, told reporters that compensation was among the topics discussed between the UN chief and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak earlier in the week during a telephone call.

Some published reports mentioned a figure of about 10.5 million U.S. dollars.

The United Nations in July 2009 submitted to Israel claims for reimbursement for losses sustained in a number of incidents during the military action a year ago, said the spokesman.

Since then there have been discussions between the parties and the spokesman said they took place in a very positive atmosphere and "now are at a very advanced stage."

Nesirky said there was an "agreement in principle" on terms of an arrangement under which Israel would pay the United Nations, which is now waiting for a green light -- expected imminently -- from the government of Israel, and when agreement is formalized a payment will be made and details would be revealed.

The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to discuss details, would not name a figure for the compensation and said there were inaccuracies in some published reports about the talks.

The Israeli Mission to the United Nations did not return a Xinhua request for comment.

Source: Xinhua
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