Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 12:28 UK

Israel concern at UN use of Nakba

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Mr Ban is said to have used the term Nakba in a call to Mahmoud Abbas

Israel is seeking clarification from the UN after the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his solidarity with Palestinians on Nakba Day.

Nakba is the Arabic for catastrophe. Palestinians use it to refer to the creation of the state of Israel.

The Israeli deputy ambassador to the UN, Danny Carmon, said the use of the word was part of attempts to undermine the legitimacy of Israel.

"[The word Nakba] must not be part of the lexicon of the UN," Mr Carmon said.

The secretary general's spokeswoman is reported to have said at a press conference in New York on Thursday evening: "The secretary general] phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to stress his support for the Palestinian people on Nakba Day."

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