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United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO)

UNITED NATIONS TRUCE SUPERVISION ORGANIZATION (UNTSO)

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping machinery in Israel and neighboring Arab countries.

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was created through several UN resolutions to oversee the Security Council truce agreement between Israel and the Arab states that went into effect on 11 June 1948. Unarmed UN military observers were first sent to Cairo and throughout Palestine. After hostilities in the 19481949 Arab-Israel war ended, UNTSO was expanded and charged with overseeing the signatories' application of the four armistice agreements. Its observers were stationed along armistice lines between Israel and Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Observers remained in the region through the 1956 Suez crisis and were supported by the new and more broadly empowered UN Emergency Force. In June 1967 UNTSO demarcated the cease-fire lines between Israel and Syria, supervised the cease-fire, and over-saw renegotiations for observers along the Suez Canal. UNTSO observers assist other armed peace-keeping operations in the Middle East, such as the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. In March 1996 UNTSO had 178 observers, down from its maximum strength of 572 observers in 1948; 28 have died in service since 1948. UNTSO is headquartered in Jerusalem and has offices in Beirut and Damascus.

see also arabisraeli general armistice agreements (1949).


Bibliography

Burns, E. L. M. Between Arab and Israeli. New York: Ivan Obolensky, 1963.

Higgins, Rosalyn. United Nations Peacekeeping: Documents and Commentary. 4 vols. New York; Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 19691981.

United Nations. The Blue Helmets: A Review of United Nations Peace-keeping, 3d edition. New York: United Nations Deptartment of Public Information, 1996.

charles u. zenzie
updated by neil caplan

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