Quneitra Crossing
Quneitra CrossingIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Quneitra Crossing between Israel and Syria will reopen on Monday, the IDF confirmed on Sunday evening.

At this time, the crossing will only be used by UN forces who intend to cross from Israel to Syria and return. The reopening of the gate will assist in implementing the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria, which mainly focuses on the declaration of an area of separation – a demilitarized zone between the two countries.

In recent months, the State of Israel cooperated with the United States and the UN in order to reopen the crossing. Israel is dedicated to UNDOF's mission and aspires to maintain stability in the region.

Quneitra Crossing.
Quneitra Crossing.Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Quneitra Crossing is a symbol of the oppressive Syrian regime. The crossing, which serves as the connecting link between Israel and Syria, was closed at the end of 2014. The IDF decided to close the crossing after Syrian rebels overtook old Quneitra and Global Jihad operatives belonging to Al-Qaeda took control of the area.

The closure of the crossing and the security reality during this time period between 2015 and 2018 did not allow cooperative security measures to be carried out in the Quneitra Crossing, while maintaining quiet and stability in the space.

As the fighting in the Syrian Golan Heights region and the nearby villages are drawing to a close, the UN has decided to return UNDOF forces to Syria.

Quneitra Crossing.
Quneitra Crossing.Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) withdrew in 2014 after Al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran the area, but recently returned to the region and carried out its first patrol since leaving.

In late August of 2014, rebels on the Syrian side including Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front kidnapped more than 40 Fijian UNDOF troops and released them unharmed two weeks later.

The fighters also clashed with 75 Filipino members of the force, who eventually fled a nearby outpost in a worrying sign of spillover from Syria's war and were recalled back to their home country.