U.S. Envoy to U.N.: Israel, Syria to Reopen Golan Crossing on Monday

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -
Uniformed men ride a pickup truck as they carry a Syrian flag in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria, as seen from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Israel, Syria and the United Nations have agreed to open the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday.

Haley said in a statement that the opening “will allow U.N. peacekeepers to step up their efforts to prevent hostilities in the Golan Heights region.”

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has been monitoring operations in a demilitarized zone established in 1974 between the Israeli side of the Golan and the Syrian sector, but the peacekeeping mission was disrupted by Syria’s civil war.

Israel liberated the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day war and fought Syria again on the strategic plateau in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“We look to both Israel and Syria to provide U.N. peacekeepers the access they need as well as assurances of their safety. We also call on Syria to take the necessary steps so UNDOF can safely and effectively deploy and patrol without interference,” Haley said.

Military police from Russia, a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have been patrolling on the Syrian side of Quneitra.