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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Israeli Troops As UN Peacekeepers?

[Media Source*]

(Hat Tip: UN Dispatch)

(Scotsman.com News) ISRAEL is in talks over the country's troops joining United Nations peacekeeping forces. Israel is not among 117 nations to field peacekeepers in foreign conflict zones. [...]

"In light of our improved standing at the United Nations, we are exploring greater membership and involvement in a number of UN agencies. These talks are preliminary only," Mr Regev [a spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry] said.

Despite the recent political advances by the Jewish State, an Israeli presence within the UN Peacekeeping forces may not be acceptable in places like Saudi Arabia where even praising Hebrews can earn someone 700 lashes. Under Sharon, Israel has received praise for its actions regarding the Gaza territory, and although he is eager to continue the momentum of Israeli influence abroad, he will have to jump a few hurdles in order to make this a reality.

(Scotsman.com News) Mr Regev said Israeli troops, seasoned by several Middle East wars, could be especially useful in areas such as mine-clearing. [...]

Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper, said any decision to deploy troops with UN peacekeepers would require changing laws that currently limit the military's mandate to national security.

This may not be an easy task to accomplish for Ariel Sharon, whose government is already facing early elections from a newcomer to the political scene, Amir Peretz, who may not be as open to this idea as the current Prime Minister. If Sharon is able to tackle both of these domestic problems, then Israel may find itself being accepted by the international community rather than shunned from it.

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:24 PM • Email Post • •


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