UN demands end to military action in Golan Heights - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
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UN demands end to military action in Golan Heights

Security Council urges 'that there should be no military activity' in Golan area, citing fear of regional escalation, danger to Israel, Syria ceasefire deal.

Ynetnews, AP
Published: 06.26.14, 08:31 / Israel News

The UN Security Council on Wednesday strongly condemned the recent intense fighting between Syrian government and opposition fighters in the Golan Heights and demanded an end to all military activity in the area that has separated Syrian and Israeli forces since 1974.

 

 

A resolution unanimously adopted by the council echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's finding that ongoing military activities in the area of separation "have the potential to escalate tensions" between Israel and Syria, jeopardize the cease-fire between the two countries and pose a risk to civilians and UN personnel.

 

The resolution extends the UN mission monitoring the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire, which currently has about 1,250 troops, until Dec. 31.

 

The mission, known as UNDOF, was established in May 1974 following intensified firing on the Israel-Syria border after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, and Syria has campaigned for decades for return of the land.

 

For nearly four decades, the UN monitors helped enforce a stable truce between Israel and Syria. But in recent months, the Golan Heights has increasingly become a battlefield in the more than three-year-old Syrian conflict.

 

Syrian mortars overshooting their target have repeatedly hit the Israeli-controlled Golan, and UN peacekeepers have been abducted.

 

In the latest incident on Sunday, forces in Syria struck an Israeli civilian vehicle as it drove in the Golan Heights, killing 13-year-old Mohammad Karakar, and wounding his father and three others.

 

It was the first deadly incident along the volatile Israeli-Syrian front since Syria's civil war erupted, and IAF warplanes responded

by bombing a series of targets inside Syria early Monday. Local reports claimed that some 12 people were killed in their attack.

 

The Security Council resolution condemned the Syrian opposition's use of improvised explosive devices in UNDOF's area of operation and the use of heavy weapons by both sides in the area of separation during clashes. It also condemned "the horrific crimes" committed by some armed members of the opposition.

 

The resolution also stressed "that there should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation, including military operations by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces."

 

Golan tensions

Karakara, the 13-year-old boy, was killed and three others were wounded by a Kornet missile, likely fired by Syrian army soldiers.

 

The IDF Northern Command is investigating why the Syrian army unit was not identified immediately after firing the anti-tank missile from an area considered relatively flat and easy to control.

 

The high state of alert along the Syrian border was expected to remain for at least 24 hours due to fear of a Syrian response to the IAF counterattack that claimed the lives of four Syrians.

 

Earlier, a senior defense official told Ynet that the military establishment was certain the missile that hit the Karakara family near the border fence on the Golan Heights was fired from a Syrian army position by soldiers in uniform and on duty.

 

Sources believed that there was more than one perpetrator and that the shooters were Syrian soldiers of the 90th brigade.

 

The IDF attacked its command posts and artillery positions even before the intelligence had been verified.

 

Twelve Syrian soldiers were killed in the IDF airstrike overnight Sunday, the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights reported.

 

The group which frequently closely monitors the Syrian civil war, claimed that "At least ten Syrian soldiers were killed in Israeli raids against Syrian military positions of the occupied Golan."

 

The report claimed that missiles fired by IAF aircraft hit at least two tanks and destroyed two artillery batteries.

 

Yoav Zitun, Ron Ben Yishai and AFP contributed to this report

 

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