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UNGA asks Israel to pay Lebanon over $850 million for the environmental disaster

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The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved a resolution asking Israel to pay Lebanon over $850 million for the oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack on oil storage tanks during its war with Hezbollah in July 2006.

The assembly voted 170-6 in favor of the resolution, with three abstentions. Israel, the United States, Canada, Australia, Micronesia and Marshall Islands voted “no.”

General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion. The resolution says “the environmental disaster” caused by the destruction of the tanks resulted in an oil slick that covered the entire Lebanese coastline and extended to the Syrian coastline, causing extensive pollution.

The assembly acknowledged the conclusions in an August report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that studies show the value of damage to Lebanon amounted to $856.4 million in 2014. It asked Israel to provide “prompt and adequate compensation.”