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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘united nations disengagement observer force’

UN Peacekeepers Wounded by Syrian Shelling — Will UN Probe This One?

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Two members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were hit by mortar fire Monday in the Golan Heights in Israel in what was allegedly a “spillover” attack on their base from Syria.

One of the two was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition. The second, a female soldier, was treated at the scene. She is in good condition, the Hebrew-language Ynet site reported. Both were stationed in their base on the Israeli side of the border with Syria at the time of the attack. There has been no confirmation of the above information from the IDF Spokesperson, who issued a terse statement saying only that two UNDOF soldiers were slightly wounded in a “spillover” attack on their base from the Syrian civil war across the border in the Golan Heights.

(Ed. Note: The UNDOF force is comprised of some 800 soldiers from the Republic of Ireland, Fiji, India, Nepal and the Netherlands. It has been monitoring the cease-fire line that separates Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights since 1974. Israel won the territory after a defensive battle with Syria in 1967, and was forced to defend in again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was subsequently annexed by Israel.)

According to military sources, the mortar fire was launched from Syria. But it is not clear who fired the two shells.

They could have been launched by a number of terror organizations or the Free Syrian Army which whom the revolt began. It is also possible they were fired by the government troops fighting to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power.

Likewise, it is possible the mortar fire came from Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps troops, who have been fighting alongside Assad’s troops for years, together with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror guerrillas from Lebanon.

The undisputed fact is that this is not the first time mortars have been fired across the border on the Golan Heights. This time IDF designated the area a “closed military zone” following the attack – even though the IDF again determined it to be another “spillover” from the four-year-long Syrian civil war.

UNDOF transferred its Golan Heights base last year across the border from Syria to Israel due safety concerns. Irish soldiers serving in the force say “It’s a unique mission; danger lurks around every bend,” according to a report posted Monday in the Irish Times.

In that, UNDOF soldiers are facing circumstances similar to those of their colleagues in UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) and the former European Union monitors at the Rafa border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

That is, when things get a little too hot, they acknowledge the danger and back down – fast.

In this case, they were allowed to move their base to the Israeli side of the border, but today’s attack on the base — “errant mortar fire” — proves such a move is no sinecure.

This past January – just a couple of weeks after the Paris terrorist massacres, in fact – a UNIFIL unit got caught in the crossfire when Hezbollah terrorists attacked an Israeli civilian convoy with a military escort traveling along a road a few kilometers from the northern border.

Hezbollah fired six missiles at the convoy from a position three kilometers deep into southern Lebanese territory in the cross-border attack. The convoy was traveling on a road also deep into Israeli territory.

Two IDF soldiers and a civilian died; several others were wounded. A home in an Israeli Druze village took a direct hit and went up in flames; it was completely destroyed and most of the residents were badly traumatized.

Hana Levi Julian

The Bravery of the UN Peacekeepers Tested Again

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

That’s right…once again the Middle East is testing the bravery of the United Nations peacekeepers, and once again, they are failing that test.

The United Nations Emergency Force was created in 1956 as part of a resolution agreement to the Suez Canal Crisis – that was when Egypt launched a terrorist “fedayeen” campaign against Israel and committed other acts of aggression with the declared goal of eventually destroying her. Israel responded and in the end, Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula. The ceasefire agreement, yet another example of Israel doing above and beyond what most countries would do, included Israel withdrawing from the Sinai. They gave the Egyptians back what Egypt had lost in war because they hoped it would serve as a lesson. The lesson didn’t even last a decade. But back in 1956, a hopeful world agreed to established an international force that would be placed on the Egyptian side to prevent further violence.

In May 1967, as part of their intention to launch another war against Israel, the Egyptian government under President Nasser ordered the UN out of the way…and they agreed to leave immediately. Whatever the purpose was for them having been stationed there, the reality was that they ran at the first threat to themselves. In the end, they proved to be more vacationing tourists than peacekeepers.

Likewise, not long after the Yom Kippur War, in which both Syria and Egypt attacked Israel, in 1974, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was established as a buffer between Israel and Syria. As in Sinai, their goal was to stand between the nations to preserve the peace.

Given the unease in Syria and rising tensions on the border with Israel after numerous instances in which Syria has fired mortars and bullets across the Israeli border, it seems the UN is worried about its troops. Today’s news indicates that Japan is pulling its troops out of the UN Observer force in the Golan Heights. No, it isn’t the entire force, not yet anyway, and yet it makes me wonder. If they are going to pull out at the first hint of trouble, what are they there for? What good do they do? Honestly, who needs them?

I know they watch over Israeli forces on the Golan. Elie told me how they used to come visit the bases in the Golan Heights. I can’t honestly believe they were as diligent on the Syrian side, but it doesn’t matter. The fact is that there really is no difference whether they are there or not. That is what today’s news reaffirms. Syria is a country that will plow over its own people, use chemical weapons on them, murder their own children in the streets. Is anyone fool enough to believe a bunch of unarmed UN troops would stop them?

In fact, there is ample evidence that more than once UN troops have collaborated with the Arabs (in Lebanon, in Gaza), so truly, Israel is probably better off without them.

So, why this post? Because the hypocrisy, the cowardice, and the incredible nerve of the UN to preach to Israel, sometimes rises up to choke me.

And then, at these moments, I read that it is snowing on Mount Hermon and I look out my office window and watch the rain in Jerusalem. Protection comes from Above – blessings of rain and snow. I wish the Japanese peacekeepers a safe trip home. They are a symptom of the impotence of the United Nations, nothing more.

You can’t keep peace in a nation that wants death and violence. Their leaving simply reminds us of who they are, and who we are. There is no fear in their leaving because there was no protection, ever, in their presence. It was known they would pull out at the first sign of trouble – it is their way, it is their cowardice, it is their shame.

Today, as yesterday and tomorrow – we are protected by the soldiers of the army of Israel. And we know that they and all our sons, are protected by the Guardian of Israel, who sent us the blessings of rain on a day that shines bright, right through the thickest of clouds, in this holy land.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/the-bravery-of-the-un-peacekeepers-tested-again/2012/12/11/

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