Middle East

Israel to cut another US$2 million from its UN contribution

Israel said on Wednesday it would cut a further US$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 US$6 million.

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

The decision was made because of the "hostile resolutions adopted a few days ago by the UN's Human Rights Council," part of the Foreign Ministry's statement said.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump's administration said it was reviewing its participation in the Geneva-based UN 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 US$6 million cut in funding was made in protest at a UN 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 December 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 US President Barack Obama as "shameful".

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