United Nations Truce Supervision Organization

United Nations Truce Supervision Organization

Discussion
Ask a question about 'United Nations Truce Supervision Organization'
Start a new discussion about 'United Nations Truce Supervision Organization'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) is an organization founded on 29 May 1948 for peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 in the Middle East. Its primary task was providing the military command structure to the peace keeping forces in the Middle East to enable the peace keepers to observe and maintain the cease-fire, and as may be necessary in assisting the parties to the Armistice Agreements in the supervision of the application and observance of the terms of those Agreements. The command structure of the UNTSO was maintained to cover the later peace keeper organisations of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 on 31 May 1974, to implement Resolution 338 which called for an immediate ceasefire and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.The resolution was passed...

 (UNDOF) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security,...

 (UNIFIL).

Background


In response to a request from Count Folke Bernadotte, United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Mediator for Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie
Trygve Lie
Trygve Halvdan Lie was a Norwegian politician, labour leader, government official and author. He served as Norwegian Foreign minister during the critical years of the Norwegian government in exile in London from 1940 to 1945. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first Secretary-General of the United...

, sent 50 members of the United Nations guard force from Lake Success
Lake Success, New York
Lake Success is a village in Nassau County, New York in the United States. The population was 2,934 at the 2010 census.Lake Success is in the Town of North Hempstead on northwest Long Island. Lake Success was the temporary home of the United Nations from 1946 to 1951, occupying the headquarters of...

 to assist the Mediator in supervising the Truce in the former British Mandate of Palestine in 1948 and the "UNTSO", the first peacekeeping operation was established by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. All the members of the party were experienced international civil servants with a background of service with the United Nations Secretariat at Headquarters. While on duty in Palestine, they were to continue to wear United Nations guard uniforms. UNTSO military observers remain in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region.
This resolution formed the basis for the establishment of the first United Nations peace-keeping operation which became known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)http://popp.gmu.edu/resource-bk/mission/untso.html
In November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a plan for the partition of the then British Mandate of Palestine, providing for the creation of an Arab State
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

 and a Jewish State, with Jerusalem to be placed in Trusteeship with international status. The plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 and Arab States
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 and only partially accepted by the Jewish Agency of Palestine. On 14 May 1948, the United Kingdom relinquished its mandate over Palestine and the State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 was proclaimed. On the following day, the Palestinian Arabs, assisted by Arab States, entered into a state of hostilities against Israel when the Arab League forces under the command of King Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

 entered the Palestine Mandated area into the territory allotted for the Arab partition.

On 14 May 1948, the Assembly adopts resolution 186 (S-2), which affirms its support for the efforts of the Security Council to secure a truce in Palestine; decides to appoint a U.N. Mediator. Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden was appointed. And sent him to Palestine. On 22 May 1948, the Security Council adopts resolution 49 (1948), calling for an abstention from any hostile military action in Palestine. The resolution also calls upon the parties to facilitate the task of the U.N. Mediator.

On 23 May 1948 Thomas C. Wasson
Thomas C. Wasson
Thomas Campbell Wasson was an American diplomat who was assassinated while serving as the Consul General for the United States in Jerusalem, Palestine. Wasson was also a member of United Nations Truce Commission.-Career:...

, US Consul and member of the UN Truce Commission was assassinated in Jerusalem.

On 29 May 1948, UN Security Council Resolution 50
United Nations Security Council Resolution 50
United Nations Security Council Resolution 50, adopted on May 29, 1948, called upon all governments and authorities involved in the conflict in Palestine to order a cessation of all acts of armed force of four weeks, to refrain from introducing any fighting personnel into Palestine, Egypt, Iraq,...

 (1948), called for a cessation of hostilities in Palestine and decided that the truce should be supervised by the UN Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Wisborg, with the assistance of a group of military observers. The first group of military observers, which has become known as the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), arrived in the region in June 1948, when the Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 threatened Chapter VII intervention. To enforce the first of two truces, lasting four weeks, the UN then established an observer formation, with members drawn from Belgium, France, and the United States. On 6 July the UN observers had their first casualty with the death of the French Observer Commandant Rene Labarriere, he was wounded near the Afoula area and later died in the Jewish Hospital at Afoula. He was wounded while investigating an alleged violation of the truce provisions by Jewish forces. In 1949, UNTSO military observers remained to supervise the 1949 Armistice Agreements
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

 between Israel and its Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 neighbours, which were for many years the main basis of the uneasy truce in the whole area.

The Mediator was instructed on May 29, 1948 to create a one-month truce in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. The Mediator concept was teamed with the Truce Commission
United Nations Conciliation Commission
The United Nations Conciliation Commission was created by UN General Assembly Resolution 194, in order to conclude the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.On December 11, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the proposal to set up the committee with delegates of three nations. France, Turkey and the United...

 for supervisory over-watch of the Truce Plan. As a result, the Mediator and the Truce Commission would be provided with a number of military observers which set a precedence for today's assignment of UNMO's (United Nations Military Observers) in the Middle East.

The month-long truce went into effect on June 11, 1948. On the same day, the first group of 36 observers arrived via Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, Egypt and continued to arrive for the next three days. The first truce did not last long due to widespread violence which again erupted. As a result, the observers were withdrawn on July 9, 1948. The second truce, indefinite in length, was called by the United Nations Security Council on July 15, 1948. This declaration was to be put into effect on July 18, 1948. It was from Security Council Resolution 54
United Nations Security Council Resolution 54
United Nations Security Council Resolution 54, adopted on , determined that the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace within the meaning of Article 39 of the Charter of the United Nations...

 that the Mediator was instructed to supervise the observance of the truce and to establish procedures for examining alleged breaches of the truce since 11 June 1948, and authorized the Mediator to deal with breaches so far as it was within the capacity of the Mediator to do so by appropriate local action, also the Security Council Resolution 54 requested the Mediator to keep the Security Council informed concerning the operation of the truce and where necessary to take appropriate action. During the autumn of 1948, UNTSO was re-established with an increase in size to supervise the Second Truce. The first group of observers to serve in Palestine under the UN Mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte, arrived in Rhodes at 6 P.M. GMT 20 July. It included 41 Americans and about 25 Belgians and were deployed on 21 July 1948. The initial group was quickly expanded to 93 in total because of the tremendous area that had to be covered. As the number of personnel grew, the United Nations Secretariat
United Nations Secretariat
The United Nations Secretariat is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for...

 (of Personnel) supported the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the same organization UN Military Observers are assigned to today. Initially, the command was headed by a Chief-of-Staff (a general officer from one of the participating countries) in accordance with the personal direction of the Mediator, (a civilian).

On 17 September 1948, UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, and Colonel Serot while on an official tour of duty to Jerusalem were murdered "in cold blood... in the Katamon quarter of Jerusalem by Jewish assailants." Ralphe Bunche, Chief of the UN Mission in Palestine in his letter to the Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok wrote "is an outrage against the international community and an unspeakable violation of elementary morality. His safety, therefore, and that of his Lieutenants under the ordinary rules of law and order was a responsibility of the Provisional government of Israel
Provisional government of Israel
The provisional government of Israel was the temporary cabinet which governed Israel from shortly before independence until the formation of the first government in March 1949 following the first Knesset elections in January that year....

 whose armed forces and representatives control and administer the area. The act constitutes a breach of the truce of the utmost gravity for which the Provisional Government of Israel must assume full responsibility."
Provisional Government of Israel did not submit the report to the Security Council or to the Acting Mediator regarding the progress of the investigation into the assassination of Count Bernadotte.

After assassination, the talks between the warring parties began under the supervision of the Acting Mediator, Ralph Bunche
Ralph Bunche
Ralph Johnson Bunche or 1904December 9, 1971) was an American political scientist and diplomat who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine. He was the first person of color to be so honored in the history of the Prize...

.
The General Armistice Agreements (GAAs) came out of the Mediator-chaired talks. UNTSO's activities have been and still are spread over territory within five States, and therefore it has relations with five host countries -- Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Israel, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and Syrian Arab Republic
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. Since then, UNTSO has also supervised the General Armistice Agreements of 1949 and the observation of the ceasefire in the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 area and the Golan Heights following the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of June 1967.

On 11 August 1949 it was decided by the Security Council that the mediators function had been completed and that the role in observing the ceasefire should be passed to the Chief of Staff of the UNTSO

Headquarters


Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 was the initial Headquarters of UNTSO. The UNTSO's HQ was moved, shortly after its creation, to Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

 (British enclave in this time), in late June 1948. The Haifa HQ was evacuated on 9 July due to renewed fighting. With the return of UN peacekeeping forces to Israel on 21 July 1948 the Headquarters for UNTSO was moved again on October 7, 1948 for the third and final time to Government House
Government House
Government House is the name of many of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. It serves as the venue for the Governor's official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by...

 Jerusalem.

UNTSO has offices in Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

.

Contributing Countries


Countries contributing military resources to UNTSO include, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia (formerly the USSR), Slovenia, Slovak republic, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.


29 May has been designated as the "International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
The "International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers", May 29, is "a day to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication, and courage and to honor the memory of those who...

" by the UN. 29 May 2008 being the sixtieth anniversary of United Nations Peacekeeping Forces being deployed.

Sixty years ago on that date, the United Nations Security Council established the first peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), based in the Middle East. In 2001, the General Assembly proclaimed 29 May as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers to pay tribute to the men and women who serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations and honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.

Evolution of the UNTSO


Following the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, the functions of the observers changed in the light of changing circumstances, but they remained in the area, acting as go-betweens for the hostile parties and as the means by which isolated incidents could be contained and prevented from escalating into major conflicts.

Resolution 181


On 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 on 'The future constitution and government of Palestine' setting forth a 'Plan of Partition with Economic Union'. The result of the vote was 33 in favor, 13 against and 10 abstentions. The report consisted of four parts:
  • future constitution and government of Palestine;
  • boundaries;
  • city of Jerusalem;
  • and capitulations.

It called for the creation of Arab and Jewish states no later than 1 October 1948, with Jerusalem as corpus separatum under an international regime to be administered by the U.N. with the Trusteeship Council being the designated body in this regard. The plan also included steps to be taken prior to independence, including the issues of citizenship, transit, economic union between the two states, access to holy places and religious and minority rights. Resolution 181 (II) also establishes the United Nations Palestine Commission to carry out the plan. The Trusteeship Council was to administer Palestine for ten years.

Resolutions 42 to 46: calls for cease-fire.


As the disorders in Palestine increased The Security Council voted on and adopted Resolution 42
United Nations Security Council Resolution 42
United Nations Security Council Resolution 42, adopted on March 5, 1948, called upon the permanent members of the Council to consult and inform it regarding the situation in Palestine and to make recommendations to the United Nations Palestine Commission...

 (1948) of 5 March 1948, appealing to all governments and peoples, particularly in and around Palestine, to take all possible action to prevent or reduce such disorders as were occurring in Palestine. The Trusteeship Council decided on 10 March 1948 in resolution 32 (II) "that the statute on Jerusalem was in satisfactory form and agrees that the question of its formal approval, together with the appointment of a governor of the city, shall be taken up at a subsequent meeting to be held not later than one week before 29 April 1948", the deadline given to the Council by the Assembly (on 21 April 1948, the Trusteeship Council transmitted The Resolution Along With The Draft Statute To The General Assembly).
The situation in Palestine was becoming even more chaotic when the Security Council met on 1 April 1948 it adopted Resolution 43
United Nations Security Council Resolution 43
United Nations Security Council Resolution 43, adopted unanimously on April 1, 1948, notes the increasing violence and disorder in Palestine, calling upon the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee to make representatives available to the Security Council to arrange and enforce...

 (1948), calling for an "immediate truce be effected in Palestine" and calls for "the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Arab Higher Committee to make representatives available to the Security Council for the purpose of arranging a truce between the Arab and Jewish communities of Palestine; and emphasizes the heavy responsibility which would fall upon any party failing to observe such a truce".
The Security Council adopts Resolution 44
United Nations Security Council Resolution 44
United Nations Security Council Resolution 44, adopted on 1 April 1948, having received the reports requested in United Nations Security Council Resolution 42, the Council requested the Secretary-General convoke a special session of the General Assembly to consider further the question of the...

 (1948). Invoking Article 20 of the U.N. Charter on 1 April 1948 where the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to convoke a special session of the General Assembly to consider further the future of the government of Palestine.
By 17 April 1948 the situation in Palestine had deteriorated further and the Security Council adopted Resolution 46
United Nations Security Council Resolution 46
United Nations Security Council Resolution 46, adopted on April 17, 1948, having referenced the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 43 and noting that the United Kingdom was still the Mandatory Power in charge of the Palestinian territory, it was responsible for ending the conflict...

 (1948), calling upon all persons and organizations in Palestine to immediately cease all military activities, as well as acts of violence, terrorism and sabotage; to refrain from any actions endangering the safety of the Holy Places in Palestine and refrain from importing or acquiring or assisting or encouraging the importation or acquisition of weapons and war materials (arms embargo). It also requests the government of the U.K., as the Mandatory Power, to supervise the execution of these measures and to keep the Security Council and the General Assembly informed on the situation in Palestine.
The General Assembly then convened for its second special session between 16 April to 14 May 1948, during which it considers a working paper submitted by the United States (U.S.) on the question of the "Trusteeship of Palestine", which was opposed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) as well as the Jewish Agency.

Resolution 185 - Jerusalem.


The Assembly adopted resolution 185 (S-2) of 26 April 1948, asking the Trusteeship Council to study measures for the protection of Jerusalem, its inhabitants and to submit proposals to the General Assembly.

Resolution 186 and 187- Bernadotte appointed.


On 14 May 1948, the Assembly adopted resolution 186 (S-2), which affirmed its support for the efforts of the Security Council to secure a truce in Palestine; decided to appoint a U.N. Mediator in Palestine and specifies the functions of the Mediator; and relieved the Palestine Commission from further "exercise of responsibilities" under resolution 181 (II). Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden is appointed Mediator. After receiving proposals from the Trusteeship Council, the Assembly adopted resolution 187 (S-2), recommending to the Mandatory Power the appointment of a Special Municipal Commissioner for Jerusalem.

On 14 May 1948, a Jewish state, Israel is proclaimed, one day before the mandate expired and just before the General Assembly began a discussion on the main resolution containing the U.S. idea on the trusteeship of Palestine. The U.S. government recognizes the Jewish state as does the U.S.S.R. War breaks out in Palestine. Several Arab armies engaged the Jewish forces of the Provisional Government of Israel.

1949-1956


The period from August 1949 to June 1956 was initially chaotic but quickly settled into a routine of complaints on the Jordanian, Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese fronts. It was initially possible for the UN personnel to deal with complaints of violations of the "Truce" at the Local Commander level. As time progressed there arose a culture of claim and counter claim by the participating parties and regardless of the hard work and genuine intent of UNTSO the intensity of the violent incidents increased. The GAAs had been hastily prepared in anticipation of an early peace along the lines of the 1947 Partition Plan and the primary concern was an end to the bloodshed at the earliest opportunity. As a result the Armistice lines had been poorly laid out temporary boundaries marked out without thought to existing village boundaries or water rights. The Armistice Agreements were of a purely military character, intended to provide a transitional stage between the truce and a final peace. They constitute, in effect, non-aggression agreements of unlimited duration, but they contain in themselves no provision for establishing normal relations between the neighbouring countries. The Armistice lines did not follow the fighting lines in all cases especially the Syrian Armistice line. And in the case of the Egyptian Armistice line Israel forces carried on with a push South arriving at Umm Rashrash (Eilat) in March after the Egyptian Israel GAA of 24 February 1949. This caused friction on setting the "Truce Lines". The contribution toward the foundation of a peaceful existence by the Mixed Armistice Commissions
Mixed Armistice Commissions
The Mixed Armistice Commissions is an organisation for monitoring the ceasefire along the lines set by the General Armistice Agreements. It was composed of United Nations Military Observers and was part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization peacekeeping force in the Middle East...

 (MACs) was limited by the sanctions that the MACs were able to apply (a formal condemnation by the Security Council). For approximately 18 years, (from 1949 until after the 1967 War), lack of harmony within the MACs was typical of the relationship existing between the countries. With the exception of the Israeli-Lebanon MAC, strife and discord became common.

The MACs were very different from one another, bringing about four unique peacekeeping missions under the head of the UNTSO. Disputes on the Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission
Israel/Syria Mixed Armistice Commission
The Israel–Syria Mixed Armistice Commission was the United Nations commission for observing the armistice between Israel and Syria after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as part of the Mixed Armistice Commissions...

 (ISMAC) centred on the most precious Middle Eastern commodity: water and sovereignty of the DMZ. Contentious issues in the HKJIMAC
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission was the United Nations organisation of observers which dealt with complaints from Jordan and Israel to maintain the fragile cease fire along the demarcation line between Israel and Jordan...

 principally concerned the divided city of Jerusalem, the Israeli Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus , جبل المشهد , جبل الصوانة) is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem. In the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Mount Scopus became a UN protected Jewish exclave within Jordanian-occupied territory until the Six-Day War in 1967...

 enclave, the Latrun
Latrun
Latrun is a strategic hilltop in the Ayalon Valley in Israel overlooking the road to Jerusalem. It is located 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem and 14 kilometers southeast of Ramla.-Etymology:...

 salient (sovereignty of the DMZ), Arab infiltration across the armistice demarcation line and large scale Israeli military incursions into Jordanian territory. The troubles soon bloomed the Infiltration by the displaced Arabs
1948 Palestinian exodus
The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

, followed by raids of reprisal and intimidation by the Israelis, soon had the borders crackling with tension. The infiltration by Palestinians was initially unarmed groups crossing to regain possessions, harvest their crops or visit relatives; later infiltrations became armed individuals and then progressing into small retaliatory raids. As Pasha Glubb
John Bagot Glubb
Lieutenant-General Sir John Bagot Glubb KCB, CMG, DSO, OBE, MC better known as Glubb Pasha , was a British soldier, scholar and author, best known for leading and training Transjordan's Arab Legion 1939-1956 as its commanding general...

 explained:-

Some deep psychological urge which impels a peasant to cling to and die on his land. A great many of these wretched people are killed now, picking their own oranges and olives just beyond the line. The value of the fruit is often negligible. If the Jewish patrols see him he is shot dead on the spot, without questions. But they will persist in returning to their farms and gardens.

Israeli infiltration into Jordanian Territory being organised retaliatory raids by military units such as occurred at Qibya
Qibya
Qibya is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, located northwest of Ramallah and exactly north of the large Israeli city of Modi'in. It is part of the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, and according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, it had a population of approximately 4,901 in...

 and Nahhalin raids. Israel's frustration with the UN and the other parties led to their withdrawal from ISMAC in 1951 and HKJIMAC in 1954. The functioning of the Israel Lebanon MAC remained smooth due to the more relaxed attitude of the Israeli patrols towards returnees and infiltrators. Disputes with Egypt, who banned Israel-bound shipping from the Suez Canal and blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba
The Gulf of Aqaba is a large gulf located at the northern tip of the Red Sea. In pre twentieth-century and modern sources it is often named the Gulf of Eilat, as Eilat is its predominant Israeli city ....

, pertained to the al-Auja DMZ. By 1955, Egypt sponsoring of the Palestinian fedayeen
Fedayeen
Fedayeen is a term used to describe several distinct militant groups and individuals in West Asia at different times in history. It is sometimes used colloquially to refer to suicide squads, especially those who are not bombers.-Overview:...

 (self-sacrificer) raids cause Israel to cease attending the Egyptian MAC and stepped up raids into the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 and Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

, which result Egypt arm the fedayeen. From 21 September 1955, the Egypt/Israel Demilitarized Zone was occupied by Israel armed forces, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. An early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. Hammarskjöld...

 and the Chief of Staff UNTSO had engaged in efforts to secure the implementation of a plan for withdrawal of Israel armed forces and removal of Egyptian Forces from prohibited positions. Articles VII and VIII of the Egypt-Israel GAA established a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) centred on El-Auja and forbade the presence of armed forces it also prohibited Egypt from maintaining positions in an adjoining area west of the Demilitarized Zone, and limited the arms and troops in the Defensive Areas on both sides of the Line. Both Egypt and Israel had indicated to the Secretary-General their willingness to comply fully with these two articles, within the framework of a return to full compliance with the Armistice Agreement. The Israel Government gave assurances of its complete acceptance in principle of the plan. The agreed withdrawal, however, never took place. Full compliance with the Armistice Agreements was incompatible with the invocation of a state of war. The full-scale 1956 invasion of Egypt by British, French and Israeli forces
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, The invasion followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam
Aswan Dam
The Aswan Dam is an embankment dam situated across the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. Since the 1950s, the name commonly refers to the High Dam, which is larger and newer than the Aswan Low Dam, which was first completed in 1902...

. The invasion demonstrated UNTSO's irrelevance in the final settlement to the full and lasting peace.

Suez Crisis to Six Day War


After the 1956 War (often referred to as the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

), UNTSO greatly assisted the establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force
United Nations Emergency Force
The first United Nations Emergency Force was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal...

 (UNEF); in large measure the result of diplomatic efforts of the UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal from Canadian minister of external affairs Lester Pearson, by providing a group of trained military personnel for peacekeeping and emergency operations to UNEF It was the first time UNTSO's expertise was tapped in order to establish a United Nations Mission. UNTSO's contribution to UNEF set the precedence for many UN missions to come.

Israel, after the 1956 War subsequently ceased all cooperation/participation in its Israeli-Egyptian MAC. On 8 November, the representative of Israel informed the Secretary-General that his Government would withdraw its forces from Egypt immediately after the conclusion of satisfactory arrangements with the United Nations in connection with the Emergency International Force. As a result, arrangements were made through which, without any change of the legal structure or status of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization the functions of UNTSO in the Gaza area were placed under the operational control of the Force. A close co-operation between UNTSO and UNEF was to be maintained.

The General Assembly, on 19 January 1957, noted "with regret and concern the failure of Israel to withdraw from Egyptian territory". Later, on 2 February 1957, the Council deplored the" non-compliance of Israel with regard to completion of its withdrawal and called upon Israel to complete its withdrawal without delay". On 6 March 1957 General Burns was able to report to the Secretary-General of the UN that the "United Nations Emergency Force troops are now in position in all camps and centres of population in Gaza Strip". The staged withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, with the exception of an Israel troop unit at Rafah camp
Rafah camp
Rafah camp is one of eight Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. It is located in the Rafah Governorate along the Egyptian-Palestinian Authority border. It was established in 1949 and currently forms part of the city of Rafah...

, at 0400 GMT on 7 March 1957 was carried out according to plan and without incidents. By agreement, that last Israel element was withdrawn by 1600 GMT on 8 March and a full Israeli withdrawal from the Sharm al Shaikh area was effected at the same time. In the following years, the Israel-Egypt MAC remained inactive, though UNTSO was occasionally called to investigate incidents involving often bedouins in the Negev.

In the period under review, the Lebanese sector was relatively calm, surprisingly so if one thinks of subsequent events in that area. The Israel-Lebanon MAC met regularly and had developed a routine for handling incidents that occurred. In contrast, the Jordanian and Syrian sectors were the scene of frequent and often serious incidents, and both the Israel-Jordan and the Israel-Syria MAC's were quite active in pursuance of their mandate.

In the Jordanian sector, most problems arose in relation to the illegal crossing of the border and in respect of the situation in Jerusalem, there in particular the control of the periodic convoys providing supplies to the Israeli enclave at Mont Scopus.

In response to activities conducted by Israel in the DMZ between the armistice demarcation lines in the area of Government House in Jerusalem Jordan complaints to UN this resulted in the Security Council adopting Resolution 127
United Nations Security Council Resolution 127
United Nations Security Council Resolution 127, adopted on January 22, 1958, dealt with complaints by Jordan regarding Israeli activities between the armistice demarcation lines...

 (1958) on 22 January 1958, noting that the status of the zone is affected by the provisions of the Israel-Jordan GAAs and that neither Israel nor Jordan enjoys sovereignty over any part of the zone and directing the Chief of Staff of UNTSO in Palestine to regulate activities in the zone. The sovereignty issues in the DMZs was never the sphere that the UNTSO could arbitrate on, though as will be mentioned below it got deeply involved in the matter in the Syrian sector also.

Following a dress rehearsal on 17 March 1961 for a Military parade in the Israeli-occupied part of the Jerusalem, in which heavy military armament took part Jordan complained to the MAC. On 20 March 1961 the Mixed Armistice Commission decided that "this act by Israel is a breach of the General Armistice Agreement". The MAC also condemned this act by Israel and called upon the Israeli authorities to take the strongest measures to prevent a recurrence of such a breach of the GAA and to refrain in the future from bringing to Jerusalem any equipment that was in excess of that allowed for under the terms of the GAA. The Israeli authorities still contemplated holding the Full Dress Military parade on 20 April 1961 in the Israeli-occupied part of Jerusalem. The Security Council, on 11 April 1961, adopted Resolution 162
United Nations Security Council Resolution 162
United Nations Security Council Resolution 162, adopted on April 11, 1961, after a complaint submitted by Jordan and noting a decision of the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission, the Council endorsed that body's decision and urged Israel to comply with it...

 (1961), this endorsed the 20 March 1961 decision of the MAC; relating to the military parade contemplated for 20 April 1961 in the Israel-occupied part of Jerusalem, and urged Israel to comply with the decision Of the MAC made on 20 March 1961. This showed that the MAC concept still had complete support of the United Nations.

The Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement provided for a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Hula Lake area at the foot of the Golan Heights, zone which encompassed the area of Palestine as defined in the League of Nations Mandate occupied by Syrian forces at the time of the armistice. This DMZ has constantly been a source of incidents involving the Israel-Syria MAC. Attempts by UNTSO to limit Israeli agricultural activities on account of Arab ownership of land according to the cadastral map of the area failed as Israel refused to accept any limitation to its civilian activities anywhere in the DMZ. Heavy fighting having broken out between Israel and Syria following Israeli work undertaken on Arab-owned land in the DMZ, the Security Council in Resolutions 92
United Nations Security Council Resolution 92
United Nations Security Council Resolution 92, adopted on May 8, 1951, recalling its previous resolutions demanding a cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli conflict the Council noted with concern that fighting had broken out in and around the demilitarized zone established by the Israel-Syrian General...

 (1951) and 93
United Nations Security Council Resolution 93
United Nations Security Council Resolution 93, adopted on May 18, 1951, after hearing a report from the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, the representatives of Egypt and Israel as well as a determination by the Egyptian-Israel Mixed Armistice...

 (1951) of 8 and 18 May 1951 called upon the parties to cease fighting and endorsed the request of the Chief of Staff of UNTSO that the Israeli company involved be instructed to cease all operations in the DMZ until such time as an agreement is arranged through the Chairman of the MAC for continuing its project. In Resolution 111
United Nations Security Council Resolution 111
United Nations Security Council Resolution 111, adopted unanimously on January 19, 1956, noted that according to the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine, Israel was in direct violation of the General Armistice Agreement and that there was interference by...

 (1956) of 19 January 1956, the Security Council dealt with the confrontation which had escalated following interference by the Syrian authorities with legitimate Israeli activities on Lake Tiberias. It condemned as "in no way justified" the Israeli action taken in response to that interference in the form of an attack by Israeli regular army forces against Syrian regular army forces on Syrian territory. It also noted that in violation of the provisions of the General Armistice Agreement concerning the DMZ, the Zone had been crossed by the Israeli forces that entered Syria.

Following a prolonged military confrontation between the parties, the Security Council was again involved in the Israel – Syria situation in 1962 in the light of a report by the Chief of Staff of UNTSO on the military activities in the Lake Tiberias area and in the DMZ. The Council in Resolution 171
United Nations Security Council Resolution 171
United Nations Security Council Resolution 171 was adopted on April 9, 1962. Following a report by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine regarding military activities in the Lake Tiberius area, along with statements by Syrian and Israeli...

 (1962) of 9 April 1962 noted with satisfaction that a cease fire had been achieved. It deplored the hostile exchanges which had taken place and called upon the Governments concerned to comply with the General Armistice Agreement. It determined that an Israeli attack on 16–17 March had been a flagrant violation of its engagements, and called on Israel scrupulously to refrain from such action in the future. It also called upon both parties to abide scrupulously by the cease fire arranged by the Chief of Staff of UNTSO, and called specifically for strict observance of the article of the GAA which provides for the exclusion of armed forces from the demilitarized zone, and of the annex to the GAA which sets limits on forces in the defensive area.

It should also be noted that not for the first time unarmed service with UNTSO carried its risks. In June 1967 Comdt Thomas Wickham of the Irish Defense Forces was shot dead in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

.

Six Day War to Yom Kippur War (1967 to 1973)


The period between the Six-Day War of June 1967 and the Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

 of October 1973, UNTSO performed a vital function of helping to establish and supervise ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 agreements which included new boundaries between the countries. Even though there was no change to UNTSO's mission, the execution of its original mission became nearly impossible with the advent of the newly drawn ceasefire lines between Israel and Egypt-Jordan-Syria respectively.

Additionally, UNTSO did not have the MACs to supervise since Israel abrogated its initial agreement to the Armistice as conceived. Realizing the changing political situation, the UN Security Council added some new tasks to the UNTSO Charter on the first few months following the 1967 ceasefire. Specifically, in the Egypt-Israel and Israel-Syria fronts, UNTSO established observation posts. These posts remained in effect until the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. The UN offices established in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

 and Gaza (before the 1967 War) were allowed to continue to function as Liaison Offices, even though the MAC concept had become defunct.

At the urging of the Lebanese government, UNTSO created an observation operation along the Lebanese border (1949 Armistice Demarcation line) in the spring of 1972. Due to the Palestinian activity in South Lebanon and the potential Israeli reprisal against their encampments, UNTSO felt the potential for further conflict warranted the additional observation posts.

Yom Kippur to Israel Lebanon War


As a result of the Yom Kippur War, the location of UN Observers
United Nations General Assembly observers
In addition to the current 193 member states, the United Nations welcomes many international organizations, entities, and non-member states as observers. Observer status is granted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution...

 Post in the Middle East was drastically affected. However, most Ops are still located in the same place today. In the Egyptian-Israeli sector, UNTSO personnel were structured around the 0bserver "Group" concept and placed under the UN Peace-Keeping Forces that occupied the region. Observer Group Sinai was formed and attached to the Second United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II). The Charter for UNEF II expired on July 24, 1979 which only left UNTSO's presence. The observers (UNMOs) were then restructured on new OPs which were located on vantage points throughout the Sinai peninsula. For the Sinai Group, their main office was located in Cairo (in 1993 it was moved to Ismailia, closer to the OPs). On the Israeli-Syria border, UNTSO's ceasefire observation and supervision mission continued but with a readjusted ceasefire line. Observer Groups Damascus and Golan (Syrian sector) were established as a result of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). These Posts are still active today and are in the same location.

Shortly after the 1973 War, U.S. participation in UNTSO expanded to twenty-five officers. The U.S. Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 portion was six. Approximately the same period, the Soviets made a surprise move and announced their support of UNTSO and likewise wanted to provide Observers. To keep a balanced presence between the East-West Superpower
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

s--the Russian participation was set at the same level as the United States (which was twenty-five each at that time). Subsequent to the 1973 agreement, the number of observers for all countries participating increased. As a result, the number of personnel to be provided by Soviet Union and the United States was re-established at thirty-six each (which still remains today). Since U.S. personnel are not allowed in Lebanon, (a limitation set forth by U.S. Secretary of Defence
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Frank Carlucci
Frank Carlucci
Frank Charles Carlucci III is a former official in the United States Government, associated with the Republican Party. The most prominent office held by Carlucci was as Secretary of Defense from 1987 until 1989 in the Reagan Administration.-Early life and career:Carlucci was born in Scranton,...

, due to the threat to U.S. personnel), there is a current move to reduce U.S. participation to UNTSO. Likewise, the Soviets would have to drop its participation to the same number as the United States. Due to the lengthy diplomatic process, this proposal has not been acted upon by both nations yet. However, the proposal is anticipated to receive favourable consideration.

Lebanon War to present


The Israeli-Lebanese conflict commenced in the late 1970s. It provided the latest major change to UNTSO as we know the organization currently. After the outbreak of the Civil War in Lebanon
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 and the Israeli invasion into Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

 (March 1978), the United Nations established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). UNTSO's observers were thus reorganized into Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) to assist UNIFIL. September 1982 saw a low point for UNTSO with the deaths of four of its unarmed officer observers in a landmine explosion just outside Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 shortly after the infamous Sabra
Sabra
Sabra may refer to:*Sabra and Shatila massacre, a 1982 massacre in Lebanon**Sabra refugee camp, former Palestinian refugee camp, part of the scene of the above massacre*Sabra , a native-born Israeli JewSABRA...

 and Shatila massacre. The nationalities of those killed were one Finnish, one Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

  and two American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

s. As the Israeli penetration advanced north, the position of Observer Group Lebanon was adjusted. (15:372) An additional task of being the United Nations Liaison Office Beirut (UNLOB) was given to the headquarters of the Israel-Lebanon Mixed Armistice Commission (ILMAC) which was already located in Beirut. Under the close supervision of UNTSO's Chief-of-Staff, UNLOB/ILMAC functioned as a dual purpose headquarters/ liaison office for both UNTSO and UNIFIL.

Today


UNTSO personnel have also been available at short notice to form the nucleus of other peacekeeping operations. The availability of UNTSO's military observers for almost immediate deployment after the Security Council had acted to create a new operation has been an enormous contributory factor to the success of those operations.

The military observers are un-armed and they carry out their jobs by observing and reporting violations of the agreements of ceasefire, disengagement etc. that are relevant to their area of operations. All military observers are seasoned officers of the rank of captain or major coming from all branches of service in their respective countries armed forces.

The military observers work in multi-national teams, so that any observations will always be confirmed by at least two observers from different nations, as a measure to ensure impartiality.

UNTSO currently provides military observers to three different UN missions in the area; Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), supporting UNIFIL in Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

, Observer Group Golan (OGG) supporting UNDOF in the Golan Heights and Observer Group Egypt (OGE) in the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

.

OGG, who has its headquarters co-located with UNDOF HQ in Camp Faouar in Syria, is split into two outstations; OGG-D (Observer Group Golan - Damascus) based in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and OGG-T (Observer Group Golan - Tiberias) based in Tiberias, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Each outstation mans a number of observation posts on each side of the Area of Separation (AOS) that was put in place as part of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement between Syria and Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War , also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, was fought from October 6 to 25, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria...

. The military observers carry-out fortnightly inspections inside the Area of Limitations (AOL) to verify, that both sides adhere to the limitations on troop levels and military equipment within 10, 20 and 25 km zones from the AOS as prescribed by the 1974 Disengagement Agreement.

OGL HQ are co-located with UNIFIL HQ in Naquora, Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

. OGL mans four patrol bases along the "Blue Line
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

" - a demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon.

OGE is based in Ismalia by the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 in Egypt. OGE conducts short and long-range patrols in the Sinai Peninsula.

Commanders (Chief of Staff) of UNTSO

Start Date End Date Name Rank Country
May 1948 July 1948 Count Thord Bonde Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Sweden
July 1948 September 1948 Aage Lundstrom Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Sweden
September 1948 June 1953 William E. Riley Lt. General  United States
June 1953 September 1954 Vagh Bennike Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Denmark
August 1954 November 1956 E.L.M. Burns Lt. General  Canada
November 1956 March 1958 Byron V. Leary Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 United States
March 1958 July 1960 Carl C. von Horn Lt. General  Sweden
July 1960 December 1960 R.W. Rickert Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 United States
Jan 1961 May 1963 Carl C. von Horn Lt. General  Sweden
May 1963 July 1970 Odd Bull
Odd Bull
Norwegian General Odd Bull was a career officer in the Royal Norwegian Air Force who eventually rose to the position of Chief of Air Staff...

Lt. General  Norway
July 1970 October 1973 Ensio Siilasvuo
Ensio Siilasvuo
Pehr Hjalmar Ensio Siilasvuo, was a Finnish general. His father was general Hjalmar Siilasvuo of Winter War fame....

Lt. General  Finland
October 1973 March 1974 Richard Bunworth Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Republic of Ireland
March 1974 August 1975 Bengt Liljestrand Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Sweden
September 1975 December 1975 Keith D. Howard Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Australia
January 1976 March 1978 Emmanual A. Erskine
Emmanuel Erskine
Lieutenant General Emmanuel Alexander Erskine is a retired Ghanaian soldier and politician. He is a former Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana army...

Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Ghana
April 1978 June 1979 William O'Callaghan
William O'Callaghan
Lt-General William O'Callaghan was an Irish Army officer. He attended graduated from the Military College, at The Curragh County Kildare. He is most famous for being the Commanding Officer of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for a period in the 1980s. He was also a recipient of the French...

Lt. General  Republic of Ireland
June 1979 January 1980 O. Forsgren Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Sweden
February 1980 February 1981 Erkki R. Kaira Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Finland
February 1981 May 1986 Emmanuel Erskine XXXXX  Ghana
May 1986 June 1987 William O'Callaghan
William O'Callaghan
Lt-General William O'Callaghan was an Irish Army officer. He attended graduated from the Military College, at The Curragh County Kildare. He is most famous for being the Commanding Officer of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for a period in the 1980s. He was also a recipient of the French...

Lt. General  Republic of Ireland
June 1987 October 1990 Martin O. Vadset Lt. General  Norway
October 1990 October 1992 Hans Christensen Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Finland
October 1992 December 1993 Krisna Thapa Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Nepal
December 1993 April 1994 John Fisher Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 New Zealand
April 1994 June 1995 Luc Bujold Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Canada
June 1995 September 1995 Jaakko Oksanen Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Finland
October 1995 March 1998 Rufus Kupolati Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Nigeria
April 1998 March 2000 Tim Ford Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Australia
April 2000 March 2002 Franco Ganguzza Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Italy
March 2002 Sept 2004 Carl Dodd Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Republic of Ireland
November 2004 November 2006 Clive Lilley Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 New Zealand
November 2006 February 2008 Ian Gordon
Ian Gordon
Ian Gordon is a German ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for ERC Ingolstadt of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. After spells in the American Hockey League and the International Hockey League, Gordon moved to Germany in 2000 when he signed with the Schwenningen Wild Wings; after three seasons...

Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Australia
February 2008 April 2011 Robert Mood Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Norway
May 2011 Present Juha Kilpiä Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 Finland

Glossary

  • AOL - Area of Limitations
  • AOS - Area of Separation
  • HKJIMAC - Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission was the United Nations organisation of observers which dealt with complaints from Jordan and Israel to maintain the fragile cease fire along the demarcation line between Israel and Jordan...

  • MAC - Mixed Armistice Commissions
    Mixed Armistice Commissions
    The Mixed Armistice Commissions is an organisation for monitoring the ceasefire along the lines set by the General Armistice Agreements. It was composed of United Nations Military Observers and was part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization peacekeeping force in the Middle East...

  • OGE - Observer Group Egypt
  • OGG - Observer Group Golan
  • OGG-D - Observer Group Golan - Damascus
  • OGG-T - Observer Group Golan - Tiberias
  • OGL - Observer Group Lebanon
  • UNDOF - United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
    United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone
    The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone was established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 350 on 31 May 1974, to implement Resolution 338 which called for an immediate ceasefire and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242.The resolution was passed...

  • UNEF - United Nations Emergency Force
    United Nations Emergency Force
    The first United Nations Emergency Force was established by United Nations General Assembly to secure an end to the 1956 Suez Crisis with resolution 1001 on November 7, 1956. The force was developed in large measure as a result of efforts by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and a proposal...

  • UNFIL - United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
    United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
    The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security,...

  • UNTSO - United Nations Truce Supervision Organization

External links