Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Israel halts US$6 million to UN to protest settlements vote

Published:Saturday | January 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Israel halts US$6 million to UN to protest settlements vote


Israel announced Friday it is cutting approximately US$6 million in its annual dues to the United Nations this year to protest last month's Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as "a flagrant violation under international law."

Israel's UN Mission said the amount represents the portion of Israel's contribution to the UN's regular budget totaling more than US$40 million allocated "to anti-Israel bodies."

It named the UN agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA, The Division for Palestinian Rights, the committee investigating Israeli practices affecting Palestinian human rights, and information programs on "the Question of Palestine."

"It is unreasonable for Israel to fund bodies that operate against us at the UN," Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon said. "The UN must end the absurd reality in which it supports bodies whose sole intent is to spread incitement and anti-Israel propaganda."

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, asked to comment, said: "We have not been informed."

Israel's UN Mission said the cut in funding is the first in a series of steps under consideration by the Foreign Ministry and the mission in reaction to the recent Security Council resolution.

The Obama administration's decision to abstain and allow the UN Security Council to approve a long-sought resolution condemning Israeli settlements as an obstacle to a two-state solution was a sharp rebuke to a longstanding ally and a striking rupture with past US vetoes.

Israel's UN Mission said it will move forward on additional initiatives "aimed at encouraging structural change within the UN with the ultimate goal of ending anti-Israel activities" after Donald Trump becomes president of the United States on January 20.

The president-elect has criticised President Barack Obama's green light for the Security Council condemnation.

On Thursday, the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan resolution rebuking the United Nations for criticizing Israeli settlements and declaring unwavering support for Israel. The non-binding resolution insists that the United States reject any future UN actions that are similarly "one-sided and anti-Israel."