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Israel Asks U.N. for Reparations for Damage Caused by Iraqi Attacks

January 31, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel has submitted a request to the Security Council for reparations for damage sustained in the recent Iraqi missile attacks, which have left some 4,000 residential units uninhabitable.

In a letter sent Monday to U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Israel’s ambassador here, Yoram Aridor, also said the Jewish state reserves the right to strike back at Iraq in self-defense and could call at a later date for a Security Council meeting on the missile attacks.

The letter detailed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s longstanding threats to destroy Israel and listed the Scud missile attacks against Israel that occurred since the start of the fighting in the Persian Gulf.

In Israel, which is not a combatant in the war, four civilians died in missile attacks, 196 people were wounded and extensive property damage was sustained, the letter said, though an Israel Defense Force official put the casualty count Wednesday at two dead and 273 injured.

“Israel calls on all the members of the international community to condemn these deliberate attacks by Iraq on Israel’s population and the resulting loss of life and suffering involved, and demands that such attacks cease immediately,” Aridor said.

The primary purpose of the letter is to officially inform the United Nations of damages sustained in the event that a defeated Iraq has to make financial settlements for damages its military caused, U.N. officials explained.

U.N. officials said this was the first letter submitted requesting reparations for damages directly resulting from an Iraqi armed attack.

Numerous requests were made by area countries prior to Jan. 15 for financial assistance, but these requests detailed economic losses incurred in upholding the economic embargo against Iraq.

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