UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told the UN General Assembly that Israel has yet to assume its responsibility to compensate Lebanon for the environmental and material damages caused by the Jewish state during its 2006 war against Hizbollah. In a report to the 192-member assembly, he said there was no progress in the cleaning of the Lebanese coast from the oil spill following the Israeli bombing of el Jiyeh power plant during the war because of Israel's refusal to pay compensation to Lebanon. The secretary-general report does not identify the amount required for the massive clean-up operations, but press reports put the price tag at $1 billion based on World Bank appraisals. The General Assembly had urged Israel to "assume responsibility for prompt and adequate compensation" to Lebanon and other countries for the cost of repairing the environmental damage caused by the bombing. While stating that "the Government of Israel has yet to assume its responsibility", Ban Ki-moon commended the international community for its swift response to the incident in providing technical assistance and equipment. The marine oil spill resulted in the release of about 15,000 tons of fuel oil in the Mediterranean Sea, leading to the contamination of 150 km of coastline in Lebanon, extending to Syria. The secretary-general recalled that the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) sent a letter to the Israeli Government in August 2007 and another one last June. "No response has been received to either of those communications. In the absence of an official response from Israel, it is difficult to report on progress," Ban said. He also recalled that the assembly called for the mobilisation of international technical and financial assistance through donor support for the creation of an eastern Mediterranean oil spill restoration fund based on voluntary contributions to support the cleanup and safe disposal of oily waste. "So far no progress has been made towards the creation of the fund, possibly owing to the fact that no practical or operational mechanism has been identified and put forward."  Ban called on the international donor community to continue to support Lebanon in this matter, since Lebanon is still engaged in oil removal, waste treatment and recovery monitoring. He also argued that the oil spill is not covered by any of the international oil-spill compensation funds and thus "merits special consideration".