U.N. Sees Risk of Escalation in Golan

Officials Fear Conflict in Syria Will Extend Into Region

Getty Images

By Reuters

Published December 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A U.S. and Russian-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution to extend a peacekeeping mission in a demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel warns that tensions between the neighbors could escalate as Syria’s civil war spills into the area.

The draft resolution, which is due to be adopted by the 15-member council on Wednesday, expresses concern at the presence of the Syrian army, armed opposition groups and unauthorized military equipment in the so-called area of separation.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in a 1967 war. Syrian troops are not allowed in the area of separation under a 1973 ceasefire formalized in 1974. Israel and Syria are still technically at war.

Syria’s 20-month civil war recently began to spill over into the zone, which had been largely quiet since the 1973 ceasefire. Stray shells and bullets have landed on the Israeli-controlled side and Israeli troops have fired shells into Syria in response.

Last month a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers came under fire near the airport in Damascus. The draft Security Council resolution condemns the incident in which it says five peacekeepers were injured.

“Recent incidents across the ceasefire line have shown the potential for escalation of tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, and jeopardize the ceasefire between the two countries,” says the draft obtained by Reuters on Monday.

The draft text proposes extending the U.N. peacekeeping force, known as UNDOF, for six months.

It also agrees with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s “finding that the military operations carried out by the Syrian Arab Armed Forces have effected adversely the efforts of UNDOF to effectively carry out the mandated tasks.”

More than 40,000 people have been killed in Syria since a government crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011 grew into a civil war.

The Security Council has been incapable of taking any meaningful action to end the war. Veto-holding powers Russia and China refuse to condemn Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad or support sanctions. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Paul Simao)


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.