Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben 311.
(photo credit: Shahar Azran)
NEW YORK – Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Meron Reuben sent two letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Security Council on Monday, lodging formal complaints as to incidents Sunday on the Israel-Syria border and on the Israeli-Lebanon border.
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Reuben wrote that on Sunday, a group of “hundreds of individuals” in Syria tore down the Alpha Fence, “in breach of the agreed disengagement line between Israel and Syria.” In Majdal Shams, the demonstrators carried out “a violent demonstration against Israel Defense Forces,” Reuben wrote.
Similarly, in another letter, Reuben wrote that on Sunday, hundreds of individuals near the village of Maroun al-Ras in Lebanon sought to breach the Blue Line and infiltrate Israel using violence.
“The IDF acted according to its instructions to operate with maximum
restraint in confronting the significant threat of violence facing it,”
Reuben wrote in the Syria letter, using similar language in the letter
dealing with the Blue Line. “Any harm caused to the individuals involved
in these violent demonstrations lies clearly with the Government of
Syria, which is responsible for preventing infiltration of the agreed
disengagement line between Israel and Syria.”
Israel had been aware, Reuben wrote, of the “explosive potential of
plans for violent incidents on the so-called ‘Nakba Day’” on the 63rd
anniversary of Israel’s independence.
“Despite these warnings from Israel, violent demonstrators broke down
fences and crossed over the agreed disengagement line from the Syrian
side,” Reuben wrote. “All signs indicate that this incident could not
have taken place or been organized without the knowledge of the Syrian
authorities, who in previous years have helped to ensure that protests
on the so-called “Nakba Day” occurred peacefully.”
Similarly, Reuben wrote in his Lebanon letter, “Any harm caused to
theindividuals involved in these violent demonstrations lies clearly
with the Government of Lebanon, which is responsible for preventing any
infiltration of the Blue Line or provocations in its vicinity. Such
actions constitute a clear violation of Security Council resolution
“This breach of the disengagement line between Israel and Syria from the
Syrian side raises disturbing questions about whether certain actors in
our region are seeking to such provocations as a cynical distraction
from other issues,” Reuben wrote pointedly, iterating the point that
Israel expects Syria to take appropriate measures to make sure such
incidents do not recur.
Reuben also wrote that Israel expects the international community to
come to their defense, and to seek to stop actions that “carry with them
the serious potential for escalation.”
“It is obvious that those behind these incidents are seeking to advance a
radical and destructive agenda,” Reuben wrote.
“Like many in our
region, the leaders of these violent demonstrations have stated clearly
and repeatedly that they do not accept Israel’s right to exist – and
their goal is to destroy it. Yesterday’s events are part of a disturbing
pattern of action taken by extremist forces that seek to spark
provocation with Israel.”