[QODLink]
Middle East
Israel pays UN for Gaza war damage
World body paid $10.5m for property damage and injuries to staff during offensive.
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2010 08:29 GMT
Israeli forces shelled 37 schools and six health
centres used by the UN [GALLO/GETTY]

Israel has paid $10.5m to the United Nations for property damage and injuries the world body suffered during Israel's war on Gaza a year ago, officials have said.

"With this payment, the United Nations has agreed that the financial issues relating to those incidents ... are concluded," Martin Nesirky, a UN spokesman, said on Friday.

A senior Israeli diplomat at the UN, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "We have decided to make an ex gratia [without liability] payment to the United Nations and we have indeed done it."

A total of 53 installations used by the United Nations Relief and Works agency were damaged or destroyed during Israel's Gaza campaign including 37 schools, six health centres, and two warehouses.

Aid destroyed

The main damage to UN property came on January 15 when Israeli shells hit a UN compound, setting fire to a warehouse and destroying badly-needed food and medical aid.

UN officials say they have evidence that white phosphorous, a smokescreen agent that can cause severe burns, was used in the attack that left three people injured.

Israel said Hamas fighters had used the compound to launch attacks on its forces but later apologised for the incident.

A UN inquiry last year put the cost of damage to seven UN buildings in Gaza during the 22-day assault at $11.2m, almost all of it caused by Israeli forces.

Loss adjusters hired by the UN subsequently reduced that by $750,000, Nesirky said.

Nesirky said the UN's compensation claims related both to the property damage and to minor injuries suffered by 11 employees.

Israel's onslaught on Gaza killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and left much of the territory in ruins. A total of 13 Israelis were killed during the conflict.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.