United Nations: Israel should pay $850m for 2006 oil spill

The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution asking Israel to pay Lebanon more than $850m in damages for an oil spill caused by an Israeli air force attack in its war against Hezbollah in 2006. The resolution, which passed late on Friday, said “the environmental disaster” resulted in an oil slick that covered the entire Lebanese coastline and extended to the Syrian coastline, causing extensive pollution. Israel has been asked by the UN to compensate Lebanon before but this was the first time a price was put on the damages.

[The spill] has had serious implications for livelihoods and the economy of Lebanon.

UN resolution

The 2006 attack flooded the Mediterranean coastline with 15,000 tonnes of oil, according to the United Nations. The adopted resolution cited $856.4 million in damages caused by the oil spill, accounting for inflation of a October 2007 estimate by the United Nations Secretary General that reported the spill caused $729 million in damage. Lebanon bore the brunt of the spill, but the Syrian coast and other Mediterranean countries have suffered as well, the UN said. The US, Australia, Canada and Israel were among the six states that voted against the UN text.