UN fears for Golan Heights observers’ safety
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UN fears for Golan Heights observers’ safety

Security Council worried by rising violence in Syria, but extends monitoring force's mission

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

A member of the UN observer force on the Israel-Syrian border in the Golan Heights (photo credit: CC BY FreedomHouse, Flickr)
A member of the UN observer force on the Israel-Syrian border in the Golan Heights (photo credit: CC BY FreedomHouse, Flickr)

The UN Security Council expressed “grave concern” for the safety of its monitors in the Golan Heights in light of the escalating violence in Syria.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the UN cited attacks on its observers in the Golan Heights by Syrian forces in February and March as its cause for concern.

Despite worries over observers’ safety, the Security Council unanimously resolved to extend the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force between Israel and Syria until December 31, 2012.

It called on both Israel and Syria “to exercise maximum restraint” and to ensure the safety and “unhindered and immediate access” of the UN observer force in the Golan.

 

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