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Now UN Confirms 4 Fiji Troops Injured in Golan, Won't Say Treated in Israel

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 20 -- Now that media  in New Zealand as well as in Israel and Fiji have reported that four Fijian peacekeepers with the UNDOF mission in Golan were injured and treated at the Ziv Medical Center, Inner City Press at the November 20 noon briefing again asked the UN's spokesperson Farhan Haq about the incident.
   He said his colleagues in UN Peacekeeping (led by Herve Ladsous, who refuses Press questions, video here, UK coverage here) were working on it.

  And after the briefing, 24 hours after it was asked, the UN emailed an answer - that ends with a comma:

Subject: Your question on UNDOF
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply[at]
Date: Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 12:38 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question yesterday on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has the following information:

UNDOF, like other UN peacekeeping missions, has contingencies in place for medical emergencies, including medical facilities in its area of operation and evacuation procedures when required. These procedures were adhered to following the incident of 15 November, in which UNDOF personnel were involved in a motor vehicle accident in the UNDOF area of operation. The injured peacekeepers were immediately taken to the medical facility at the UNDOF Headquarters, Camp Faouar. UNDOF personnel requiring further medical attention were evacuated in accordance with medical emergency contingencies in place,

   Why end the sentence that way? Why not say WHERE they were taken: Israel?
  As so often with the UN, it's not that the answer takes time, it's that the UN doesn't want to answer. In this case, why wait a full day to see if it was asked again? These are peacekeepers injured working for an ostensibly public institution.

  Previously on November 12, after being told by sources in the area of over 170 injured people from Syria and the Golan being treated in the Ziv Medical Center, Inner City Press asked the UN:

Inner City Press: UNDOF question, what does UNDOF do when a person who is injured either in fighting or a civilian injured through fighting, approaches them, I have been told that in some instances, they’re turned away to avoid allegations from either side of taking sides, but is there just a sort of implicit protection of civilians mandate of UNDOF and what's the protocol when an injured individual, either a fighter or a civilian, approaches UNDOF?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I’ll need to check on that. I do believe that we do have something on that, but I would need to check first, okay?

In that case, three hours later Spokesperson Martin Nesirky sent:

Subject: Your question on UNDOF
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 3:19 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question at noon about UNDOF, we have the following to say:

The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has provided medical treatment, including immediate first aid and emergency treatment, to civilians on a strictly humanitarian basis. For further details, we refer you to the March, June, and September 2013 Reports of the Secretary-General on UNDOF.

  In this case, UNDOF couldn't treat its own peacekeepers, according to media in Israel and Fiji -- and then the UN in New York said it had heard nothing about it.

  When asked a second day in a row, it answered, but omitted where the peacekeepers were sent for treatment.

  At Tuesday's briefing, Haq's chiding response, after dodging questions on Uganda's claims against the UN ("ask the AU") was to say that Central African Republic shouldn't be shortened, as nearly all on the Security Council do, to "CAR."

  So the UN can pronounce very precisely -- but wouldn't confirm the injury then the transfer to Israel of its own Golan peacekeepers or if Ladsous' DPKO has any Standing Claims Commission anywhere in the world. On November 18, it was "not a yes or no question." And on November 20? Still not answer - but the statement that counting days is not helpful. What is?  Watch this site.


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