Haley: Crossing in Golan Heights will be reopened

UN peacekeepers stand on a watchtower in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
UN peacekeepers stand on a watchtower in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on September 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The US ambassador to the UN says a crossing in the Golan Heights will be reopened on Monday after a four-year closure. 

In a statement released on Monday, Nikki Haley claimed that Israel, Syria and the UN had agreed to open the Quneitra crossing, which was shuttered in 2014 following a number of attacks by Syria militants.

The opening of the crossing “will allow UN peacekeepers to step up their efforts to prevent hostilities in the Golan Heights region,” she said.

“We look to both Israel and Syria to provide UN peacekeepers the access they need as well as assurances of their safety. We also call on Syria to take the necessary steps so UNDOF can safely and effectively deploy and patrol without interference,” Haley said, using an acronym for the UN Disengagement Observer Force that operates in a demilitarized zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied side of the region.

In 1967, Israel waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of Syria’s Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

In 1973, another war, known as the Arab-Israeli War, broke out between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, including Syria. A year later, a United Nations-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which the Tel Aviv regime and the Damascus government agreed to separate their troops and create a buffer zone patrolled by the UNDOF.

Elsewhere in her statement, Haley called on Israel and Syria to adhere to the 1974 Golan ceasefire agreement and “keep any military forces other than UN peacekeepers out of the area.”

The UNDOF pulled out of Golan in 2014, when al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overran the area.

Back in August, the UN peacekeeping mission resumed its patrols in Golan after Syrian government forces liberated the Syrian side of the region form the grip of Takfiri terrorists.

The Syrian troops’ gains against foreign-backed militants in Golan cut Israel’s much-reported contacts with anti-Damascus elements.

Over the past few years, Israel has been using the occupied Golan Heights to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government in support of the terrorists wreaking havoc on the Arab country.

The regime is also believed to have been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to the extremists wounded in Syria inside the occupied Golan.

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