U.N. Security Council reiterates support for Golan peacekeepers

Marcy Oster

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

The Security Council also called on “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 statement comes three weeks after 45 Fijian peacekeeping troops were held captive by Syrian rebel group Nusra Front, a rebel group linked to al-Qaida. They were later released unharmed.