July 3, 2009 / 2:36 PM / 9 years ago

Israel to compensate U.N. for Gaza property damage

WARSAW (Reuters) - Israel has pledged to pay compensation for material damage it caused by shelling U.N. property during its Gaza offensive more than six months ago, a U.N. official said Friday.

A U.N. inquiry said in May that Israel’s armed forces damaged U.N. property on seven occasions during the December-January offensive, including an incident involving a U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Jabalia.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd said in Warsaw that Israel had indicated it would pay compensation for where U.N. buildings had been destroyed.

“So we are now in the process of negotiating and we are putting very clearly ... the value of the loss,” AbuZayd said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he would seek compensation for damage estimated at more than $11 million.

Israel’s offensive, which it said was to halt Palestinian rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza, cost the lives of more than 1,000 Palestinians, 10 Israel soldiers and three Israeli civilians.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Charles Dick

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