UN General Assembly Criticized for Anti-Israel Resolution

Syria-led resolution calls for Israel to pay $1.1M fine

July 15, 2013

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations criticized the international body for its anti-Israel bias after Syria and a slew other nations ordered the Jewish state to pay $1.1 million in "damages" resulting from its campaign to stop Hezbollah terrorists.

Included in the U.N. General Assembly’s latest "peacekeeping budget," which was passed late last month, is "a call for Israel to pay some $1.1 million for damages to United Nations property following the shelling of the Qana village in southern Lebanon."

The U.N., led by Syria, has been pushing this resolution since 1996, when the incident first occurred, a move that Israel’s ambassador called biased.

Syria’s U.N. ambassador claimed during the General Assembly’s June 28 meeting that "Israel, as the aggressor and occupying authority … should finance both [peace keeping] missions."

Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, called the accusations baseless and a waste of time.

"It comes as no secret that scoring cheap points at Israel’s expense is almost a sport at the United Nations," Prosor told the Washington Free Beacon. "Given the significant anti-Israel bias routinely demonstrated by U.N. states, it’s not surprising that Israel is once again being singled out for condemnation."

"I wonder when the U.N. will level fines against Lebanon and Syria for the extensive destruction and devastation they have caused on our borders," Prosor said.

The resolution specifically "stresses once again that Israel shall pay the amount of 1,117,005 dollars resulting from the incident at Qana [in Lebanon] on 18 April 1996," according to the measure.

The first General Assembly resolution condemning the attack was adopted on April 25, 1996, and has been on the U.N.’s agenda ever since.

The 1996 incident in question occurred after Hezbollah terrorists fired Katyusha rockets and mortars on Israel from behind the U.N. compound.

Palestinians and Lebanese terrorist routinely fire rockets at Israel from public areas and hide behind sensitive targets in order to increase civilian casualties.

Israeli military forces responded to the terror attacks with airstrikes that mistakenly hit the U.N. compound, where the terrorists were hiding.

"This attack was damaging for the U.N. mission in Lebanon," a U.N. official told the Free Beacon. "During the attack a UNIFIL [U.N. Interim Forces in Lebanon] battalion was killed."

The U.N. first fined Israel for the attack in 1997.

Israel has disputed the U.N.’s finding regarding the incident as biased and misleading.

"Israel categorically rejects the findings of the U.N. report concerning the incident at Kana," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated at the time.

"It is difficult to understand and highly regrettable that this report does not condemn Hizbullah for the cynical use of civilians as a shield for its gunmen, nor does it continue any condemnation of Hizbullah's use of areas contiguous or in close proximity to UN positions for launching attacks upon Israel," the MFA said.

"This inaccurate and one sided report is misleading, runs contrary to the stated desire of the UN to play a more active role in the Middle East peace process and undermines its ability to do so," the MFA said.

The latest resolution overwhelmingly passed the assembly on a 126 to 3 vote, according to the U.N.’s June 28 report on the meeting. Only Canada, Israel, and the U.S. voted against it.

Syria’s representative said that it is Israel’s moral responsibility to pay the fine.

"Syria had long held the position that Israel, the aggressor and occupying authority, was the reason for both missions’ creation, and therefore, it should be responsible for their financing," the U.N. reported.

Iran and Syria, meanwhile, are among a number of controversial nations seeking entry onto the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, according to Reuters.

Both nations have pursued anti-Israel policies and have systematically targeted human rights promoters, among other progressive elements of society.

Israel’s Prosor referred to the news a "lunacy" on his Facebook page.

"This might be a new world record for lunacy at the United Nations," Prosor wrote on Wednesday. "Putting Iran and Syria on a Human Rights Council is like putting the Godfather in charge of a witness protection program!"