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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


GA/AB/3155
5 June 1997

ISRAEL WOULD PAY FOR DAMAGES AT UNIFIL HEADQUARTERS
AT QANA, UNDER TEXT INTRODUCED BY GROUP OF 77
IN FIFTH COMMITTEE

The "Group of 77" developing countries and China this morning introduced in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) a draft resolution on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which would have the General Assembly ask Israel to bear about $1.7 million outstanding costs of the 18 April 1996 incident at the Force headquarters at Qana, Lebanon.

Introducing the draft on behalf of the Group, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said the draft would have to be voted on tomorrow, should the Committee's ongoing consultations fail to produce a consensus text on the question. The Group would cooperate during the negotiations, he added.

The total of about $1.7 million, he said, consisted of the incident's direct costs of $844,319 and the $880,300 used for relocating the Fijian battalion affected at Qana. The amounts, according to the draft, would be excluded from UNIFIL's budget for the period from 1 February to 30 June 1996. Israel's payment for the treatment of some of those wounded in the incident had been taken into account in reaching the figures.

Recalling the Assembly's previous request that the Secretary-General should report on the full evaluation of the damages and costs of the Qana incident, the text introduced this morning (document A/C.5/51/L.71) would have Israel bear them. Under other provisions, it would have the Assembly appropriate and assess yet to be determined sums of money for UNIFIL's budget for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998. It would also credit Member States their respective shares in an unencumbered balance of some $2.9 million gross ($2.7 million net) related to the period ending 30 June 1996.

The Committee is scheduled to meet again at 8 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, 6 June, to conclude the second part of its resumed session.


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