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In a first, Israelis to serve on U.N. force

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli police delegation will leave for Haiti to serve as part of a U.N. multinational force, marking the first time Israelis will serve on a U.N. force.

The 14 police officers attended a ceremony at the Western Wall on Monday ahead of their scheduled departure on early next week.  The delegation constitutes the first-ever Israeli group to serve in active duty under the command of the United Nations. The police officers will remain in Haiti for an extended period of time.

"You are Israel’s true face," Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the officers during a meeting Wednesday. "This mission will demonstrate to friends and foes alike that Israel is always willing to contribute and volunteer anywhere and at anytime. It is important for people to see Israel beyond the conflict and to see that this is the real Israel. We are not only strong materially, but also strong in spirit."

Two police officers in the mission reportedly delayed their weddings to participate in the mission.

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