The Foreign Ministry on Sunday said it was upset by steps United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has taken to open a new Vienna-based office to register reparations claims by Palestinians who have been harmed as a result of the construction of Israel's security fence.
Annan's proposal to establish the office, to be known as the Registrar of Damage, is the result of a 2004 decision by the UN General Assembly to hold Israel accountable for damages caused to Palestinians by the security fence. Still, the plan made public at the end of last week needs the General Assembly's approval to be put into practice.
The office's purpose is to collect information that could be used in any future judicial proceedings against Israel as the result of the fence. The UN has already determined that the fence's current route is illegal in places where it is built on land that is beyond the pre-1967 border.
"We find this decision disappointing," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. "It's another example of the United Nations establishing a one-sided bureaucracy" and "returning to traditional forms of behavior." He asked, "What has the UN done to help people [Israelis] killed in terrorist attacks?"