U.N. Asks Israel to Pay Lebanon $850M for Oil Spill

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -

Israel rejected as biased and irrelevant a U.N. General Assembly resolution passed on Friday asking Israel to pay Lebanon over $850 million in damages for an oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack on oil storage tanks during its war with Hizbullah 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.

The resolution says “the environmental disaster” caused by the destruction of the tanks resulted in an oil slick that covered the Lebanese coastline and extended to the Syrian coastline, causing extensive pollution.

Israel’s U.N. Mission said in a statement late Friday: “Israel immediately responded to the oil slick incident by cooperating closely with the United Nations Environment Program, as well as other U.N. agencies and NGOs, addressing the environmental situation along the coast of Lebanon,” the statement reads. “This resolution has long outlived the effects of the oil slick, and serves no purpose other than to contribute to institutionalizing an anti-Israel agenda at the U.N..”