What is ‚Nakbah day‘– يوم النكبة Yawm an-Nakbah means “day of catastrophe” and is an annual commemoration of the Palestinian’s protesting the creation of the State of Israel. This particular day coincides with the “Israeli Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut).
This year’s Nakbah day caused at least 12 dead and dozens of wounded and once again broughtIsraelat a loss to explain.
Ethan Bronner of New York Times titles “Israeli Troops fire as marchers breach borders” and Allison K. Sommer titles in Pajamas Media “’Nakba Day’ Incidents worry Israel and Embarrass the IDF,” but I disagree with her.
I don’t think that this year’s horrible outcome was an embarrassment to Israel, but rather an entrapment of the United Nations in order TO EMBARRASS ISRAEL.
And the reason for my suspicion is pretty simple and based on my own personal knowledge and experience: Austrian Newspapers confirm that this incident occurred at the Golan Heights which is under control of UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) and this particular area is under control of the Austrian Battalion. In order to understand my suspicion I have to explain a few standard procedures to you.
I just find myself back in memories when I was a very young man in the late 80’s early 90’s doing my duty of honor in that region
SYRIA / ISRAEL STATUS: One most important issue is the fact that there is no such thing as peace between those two countries and therefore no such thing as a border.
The crossing line is an international recognized Weapons Hold Line along the massive mountains called “Golan heights”. Left and right of this WHL is a so called buffer zone which is controlled by UNDOF and commonly known as the Golan Heights. Israeland Syriahave the codenames “Alpha Side” (Israel)and “Bravo Side” (Syria) as we read from left to right from west to east.
The head quarter’s used to be on Strada Mezeh inDamascus(Syria), but was transferred in the late 90’s to Camp Faouar Bravo Side (Syria). One camp with HQ is on Bravo Side and one camp is on Alpha side.
There is one border/fence line crossing between those countries and that is in Quneitra controlled by the UN. Until 2004 crossing was only permitted to UN Soldiers and their dependants (family members). Although it is now open to Arabs from Syria to Israel it is extremely limited.
UNDOF: United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (the name is program) is a light armed Armed Forces station between Syria and Israel. Not to be mistaken with UNTSO of which is stationed between Lebanon and Israel. UNDOF has been stationed there since 1967 and is composed of different countries of which some provide Observer posts and some are logistics. The orders are simple: “Peace through Presence” which means showing physical presence between parties and “observe and report” which means what is says – report any incident to headquarters now inCampFaouar inSyria. Then HQ reports directly toNew York.
They would not stand any chance in an armed conflict anyway because they are only lightly armed meaning side arms, standard assault rifles, and light machine guns. The standing order is: In case of outbreak of war – coordinated retreat to Turkey border.
The chain of command is also important to mention here: UN Headquarter, New York => Headquarter Camp Faouar => Countries (Battalions) present.
The place of this year’s Nakbah Tragedy happened in the Austrian (Ausbatt) sector of the Golan Heights.
Arab protests: Arab protests are nothing new to UNDOF in that area. As a matter of fact two ongoing repeat protests are standard there. One is called family shouting and one is called Nakbah protests.
Despite constant changes in UN procedures, Austrian soldiers usually act very professional considering they have little authority or any proper armory.
Field of incidence: This is a tricky field. We are talking about a simple worthless grass field that is about2 miles long and500 yards wide. Officially it belongs to Israel but for some reason, only known to God almighty, IDF did not put their fence on the east side where it belongs, but on the west side.
Now the UN Forces are supposed to hinder Syrian sheep farmers to enter that field. Ausbatt does this by going on patrol in that field and chasing all the sheep farmers away. They know they are not supposed to enter that field but do it anyway, knowing that once a month an IDF soldier shoots across the fence (he is allowed to since the field belongs to Israel) and kills a few sheep.
Now you might ask what the purpose is. The answer is simple, sheep farmers claim they did not know they were entering Israeli territory and then they complain about the sheep being killed and loss of income, blaming the UN for not watching, and demand restitution from the UN.
Family shouting: Before the times of internet, twitter, and Facebook there were no telephones, mail exchange, or any other contact between families separated during Yom Kippur.
This problem was solved through “once a month” family shouting. Family members on both sides of the fence gathered together on a hilltop in the Austrian sector near position 18, Israelprovided a small unit to control the crowd on the Israeli side, Syrian forces did the same and the UN stood with an EGG group right in the middle observing the whole thing.
Once everything was in place family members ‘shouted their news of baby birth, marriages, and other family news across a distance of 500 feetwith megaphones.
This has happened once a month since 1967 – It’s nothing new so Austrian forces have a long history of experience with it. The worst injuries were usually the headaches at the end of the day due to the increasing use of aspirin. Since 1997 families can use calling cards to call their family members.
Nakbah Protests: This happens once a year in the same area under the same conditions and the procedure of the UN remains exactly the same. Headquarters in Camp Faouar issues a higher alert status which allows the higher alert readiness for the EGG Group and their assignment depends on the amount of protesters.
Quneitra: The bombed city on the WHL/border toIsrael. Quneitra is a bombed and abandoned city and a miracle in itself. Syria claims Israel bombed it when they retreated, Israel claims Syria destroyed it themselves in order to blame Israel, the UN puts out every year another ‘Historical’ story and after 45 years I guess only God really knows who destroyed that city.
In my time Quneitra was known for 3 things: One, it was the only fence line crossing and limited to the UN.
Two, the so called “manhole cover road”. The main street with huge manhole covers, covering the sewer line. Though we constantly closed them for some reason in the middle of the night they would be open again, we guessed Arab kids having their fun. Going on patrol in the pitch-black night those holes were easily missed and cost us several broken car axles.
And three, once a month on Friday after prayer a crowd of approximately 100 Shiite protesters came to town climbing the bombed out hospital and yelling and shouting towards the arch enemy, the500 yardsaway Israeli.
For us nothing serious, again the units there were called on EGG Alarm and that was it.
EGG Group/Alarm: I used many times in this column the term EGG and now I would love to explain to you what that is.
EGG or “Ein-Greif-Gruppe” (Interference Unit) is a small unit on permanent 24/7 alert status.
In case of protests (Nakbah, Family shouting, Quneitra Protests, and others) this unit is called out. They drive in Trucks to the place of protest, armed with light arms (Ausbatt: Glock side arms for officers, and STG 77 assault rifles for enlisted) and barbwire rolls.
After unrolling the wire, that is supposed to keep protesters in line, soldiers take position and wait for the Syrian “Liaison Officer”, usually a young Lieutenant that speaks English and you can be sure he belongs to the Military intelligence (Never officially confirmed, but everybody knows it).
Peace without force through simple presence.
Since 1967 the Austrian Armed Forces have done a marvelous job with this. The men and women are highly professional when it comes to following the orders. They have even earned (early 90’s) the Nobel Peace Prize for their outstanding job. Unlike Obama, they really earned it.
Where was the UN on that day?
Conclusion: Putting the entire puzzle together – In looking at 45 years of successful experience in dealing with those situations, makes one wonder why this year it did not work and ended in 12 dead and dozens of injured in a shootout.
The easy explanation is what most Newspapers do – They blame Israel. But I think that is way too easy and incorrect. Again, knowing these procedures as an insider I come to a totally different conclusion.
This incident was purposely provoked through absence by the UN.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu just announced a “No Stop on Settlements”.
- The peace negotiations betweenPalestineandIsraelare stalled.
- The deadline is September for the UN council to vote on the acceptance of the State of Palestine.
- With Barrack Obama in the White House, a will faring UN puppet, Israel has no support whatsoever. In addition Obama openly supports Hamas and Hezbollah, which allows them to get cockier every day.
What better way to force Israel into peace negotiations. Order the UNDOF forces to stand down during the protests knowing that without UN control, Palestinians will turn peaceful protests in to riots. This creates nervous IDF soldiers, due to the missing UNDOF, which then makes for a violent confrontation with Israel getting the blame.
For the UN this is a “win” “win” situation. Israel is forced to be on the defensive because the whole world, once again, blames them for the dead, and the UN will use this to forward their agenda in the creation of a Palestinian State.
Radical Agenda built on 12 dead Palestinians with Obama’s acceptance.
UNITED WE STAND
TOGETHER WITH ISRAEL
- Wikipedia on Nakbah day
- New York Times
- Pajamas media
- Newspaper ‘Oesterreich”
- University of Notre Dame
- The Guardian