U.N. Security Council reiterates support for Golan peacekeepers


(JTA) — The United Nations Security Council called on armed groups to leave neutral areas of the Syrian Golan Heights and return U.N. peacekeepers’ equipment.

The presidential statement approved Friday by the 15-member Security Council indicated that it continues to support keeping international peacekeepers on the border between Israel and Syria despite Syria’s more than three-year civil war.

The Security Council called on all groups other than the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, to pull out of the peacekeepers’ area of operations. The council also called on the groups to return peacekeepers vehicles, weapons and other equipment, according to the United Nations News Service.

“U.N. Member States with influence to convey strongly to non-State armed actors in the area the need for an immediate halt to all activities that endangered U.N. peacekeepers and impeded them in their Security Council-mandated duties,” the Security Council urged.

The statement comes three weeks after 45 Fijian peacekeepers were held captive by the Nusra Front, a Syrian rebel group is linked to al-Qaida. The troops were later released unharmed.

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