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For the second time this month, an Israeli Merkava IV battle tank crossed the separation line in the southern Syrian governorate of al-Quneitra then entered the U.N. controlled demilitarized zone.
The violation, which occurred on May 30, was met with a quick response from the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) that surrounded the Israeli tank, according to Sputnik.
“The UNDOF in al-Quneitra and al-Golan moved to separate the soldiers of the Syrian and Israeli armies in order to prevent any clashes. The Syrian army placed its forces on high alert and deployed military reinforcements in the area in order to face any emergency,” the Russian news agency’s reporter said.
The demilitarized zone was established in southern al-Quneitra under the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria. The UNDOF was formed to observe the implementation of the ceasefire and prevent any escalation by peaceful means.
On May 1, a battle tank of the Israeli military advanced and violated the demilitarized zone in the same area. Back then, sources in the UNDOF told Sputnik that the tank was covering engineer units working to close an illegal route, that was opened by the Israeli military and terrorist groups in the early years of the conflict.