New Zealand soldier abducted on the Golan Heights

May 16, 2013 by J-Wire
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A New Zealand soldier has been abducted on the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights.

The incident occurred yesterday and the soldier was released after being held captive for five hours.

United Nations
Serving as a United Nations military observer, the officer was patrolling the border when he was taken hostage around 1am local time.

He was later released unharmed, a spokesperson from the New Zealand Defence Force told Fairfax Media.
There are eight NZ Defence Force personnel serving as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in the Middle East, the report said.

The New Zealand Defence Force has issued the following statement: “A NZ Defence Force peacekeeper was briefly abducted from an observation post in the Golan Heights today.
The Army officer, serving as a United Nations military observer on the Golan Heights, was abducted at approximately 1.00am Israeli time (11.00am NZ time). The officer has since been released unharmed, and is back at their post, within a United Nations facility. The officer was held for just over five hours.
NZ Defence Force is currently informing the officer’s next of kin.

There are currently eight NZ Defence Force personnel serving as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East. These personnel work as military observers and are based in Israel and Southern Lebanon. 

The UNTSO area of operations covers five Middle Eastern countries including Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The UNTSO headquarters is based in Jerusalem, Israel.
The New Zealanders deploy into the region as individuals, rather than a group. The UNTSO mission for NZ Defence Force is 12 months, and involves six months each in two countries.”
TVNZ reports that the abducted soldier is receiving counselling.

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “New Zealand soldier abducted on the Golan Heights”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Who actually abducted the New Zealand soldier? And why are there not more details available?

  2. Paul Winter says:

    One cannot but be disheartened by the pusillanimous response of the UN to attacks on its peace supervisors. If it were not a toothless tiger, it would dispatch more troops and destroy forces attacking the soldiers and indirectly, the standing of the UN.

    It also amazes me that anyone could suggest – as they do from time to time – that Israel should entrust the security of its borders to the the UN.

    It is also par for the course that the UN says nothing about the abuse of its troops, but any action by Israel when it defends itself against terrorists is acted upon immediately by the Security Council.

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