A new RTÉ Brainstorm article by Whitaker Institute member Prof Ray Murphy looks at the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force mission in the Golan Heights.
What’s the outlook for Irish soldiers in the Golan Heights?
Opinion: as a new batch of Irish troops prepare for deployment, the possibility of military action by Israel in the Golan remains a serious threat
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established in 1974 following the disengagement agreement between Israeli and Syrian forces. Although Israel continues to occupy a large portion of the Golan, both parties agreed an 80km long and narrow zone of separation which would be monitored by the UN peacekeeping force.
Israel occupied the Golan Heights in 1967 and, despite a purported annexation in 1981, the UN and the international community consider it occupied territory. While the announcement that Donald Trump’s US administration has recognised the Golan Heights as Israeli sovereign territory may not have any direct impact on UNDOF’s day to day operations, it is another destabilising factor in a volatile region.