The Security Council today agreed to extend the mandate of the United Nations force monitoring the ceasefire in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria for another six months, voicing grave concern that recent events have put the long-held ceasefire in jeopardy.
In a resolution adopted unanimously, Council members agreed to renew the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which was first established in 1974, through 31 December this year.
The resolution calls on both sides to exercise maximum restraint and prevent any breaches of the ceasefire or the area of separation.
In his most recent report on the work of UNDOF, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the events of 15 May and 5 June – when demonstrations in the mission’s area of operations resulted in civilians being killed – were extremely worrying.
The 15 May protests commemorated Al-Nakba or “the catastrophe,” the term used by many Palestinians to refer to the displacement of Palestinians when Israel became independent in 1948. The 5 June protests marked An-Naksa or “day of the setback,” which refers to Palestinian displacement that accompanied the Six-Day War in 1967.
Council members echoed the concerns of Mr. Ban and urged all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of UNDOF.