March 29, 2017 / 8:55 PM / 2 years ago

Israel says to cut another $2 million from its U.N. contribution

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 26, 2017. REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Wednesday it would cut a further $2 million from its already reduced contribution this year to the United Nations in protest at resolutions taken against it at the world body’s various forums.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the post of foreign minister, instructed the ministry to cut the funds and use the money as aid for developing countries who support Israel at international organizations.

It is the second such cut this year after Israel said in January it was reducing its contribution by $6 million.

Wednesday’s further cut means that of its planned commitment of $11.7 million for 2017 Israel will pay the U.N. only $3.7 million, the foreign ministry said.

The decision was made because of the “hostile resolutions adopted a few days ago by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council,” part of the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said it was reviewing its participation in the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, seeking reform of its agenda and an end to its “obsession with Israel”.

“This move is part of Israel’s drive with its friends, led by the United States, to repair the obsessive anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and its agencies,” the statement added.

The $6 million cut in funding was made in protest at a U.N. Security Council resolution that demanded an end to Israeli settlement building on land Palestinians want for an independent state.

The United States abstained from the Dec. 23 vote, allowing the 15-member Security Council to adopt the resolution with 14 votes in favor. Israel described the abstention by the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama as “shameful”.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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