Photo: AP
UN peacekeeping soldiers in Lebanon
Photo: AP
U.N. wants Israeli peacekeepers
World body approaches Israel with request for troops, military equipment; Jerusalem considering offer
The United Nations has approached Israel with a request to send military units to troublesome parts of the globe under the world body’s peace keeping forces.


Haiti, Kosovo, Congo, and Liberia are among the proposed destinations Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.


The U.N. has specifically asked for Israeli military medical units equipped with helicopters to serve in one of these hotspots. The world organization is also interested in purchasing advanced Israeli-made military equipment including night vision and telecommunication equipment.


News of talks between Israel and the U.N. broke out when a memo drafted by Ronny Adam, the U.N. Department head at the Foreign Ministry, was made public.


Adam recommended Israel heed the U.N.’s request and presented the memo to Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor, who gave the green light to negotiations with the world body.


Some 70, 000 soldiers and police officers are spread around the world under the sponsorship of the U.N. 


The largest contributors to the international peacekeeping forces are Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Nepal, Ghana, Jordan,
South Africa, Senegal, Morocco and Kenya. Soldiers from these 12 countries account for 75 percent of the total forces, with 107 countries boasting soldiers drafted for U.N. peacekeeping missions.


Third world countries are keen on sending soldiers to serve in the U.N. because of economic incentives. Each soldier receives USD 1,250 a month, a large sum considering the economic position of these countries.


Turning a new leaf?


Adam reported that the U.N. has offered to purchase military equipment from Israel in return for Jerusalem agreeing to send IDF soldiers to its peacekeeping force.  Soldiers from third world countries, who account for the bulk of peacekeeping troops, usually lack adequate advanced equipment, and western countries in possession of advanced military technologies only send few recruits to the U.N. peacekeeping force.


If a deal eventually comes to light the recruitment of Israel Defense Soldiers to missions outside the frame of defending the State of Israel will require a special parliamentary bill.


Adam has recommended the government initiate the necessary legal procedures to pave the way for a new leaf in relations between Israel and the United Nations.


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