Mission in the Middle East—UNDOF

  • Håkan Edström
  • Dennis Gyllensporre
Part of the New Security Challenges Series book series (NSECH)


When the United Kingdom (UK) relinquished its authority over Palestine in 1948 and Israel was proclaimed, a war broke out between the newly created state and some Arab states in its vicinity, that contested the new state from the onset. The UN acted to secure a truce in Palestine and appointed a mediator, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden. Based on his progress the UN Security Council (UNSC) established a Truce Commission for Palestine and decided that the truce should be supervised by the UN Mediator with the assistance of a group of military observers (UNSC Res 48/1948; UNSC Res 50/1948). The first group of military observers, to be known as the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), arrived in the region in June 1948. Eight years later, in late October 1956, the Suez War unfolded between Israel, the UK and France, on the one hand, and Egypt on the other hand. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) decided to set up the first Emergency Force (UNEF) between the Israeli and Egyptian forces after the war (UNGA Res 1001(ES I)/1956). Acting under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, UNEF had to be withdrawn in May 1967, prior to the Six Day War between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors; Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Seven years later, yet another war ravaged the region. The Yum Kippur War in 1973 was fought between Egypt and Syria, on the one hand, and Israel, on the other hand.


Middle East Security Council Force Level Arab State Political Aspiration 
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Copyright information

© Håkan Edström and Dennis Gyllensporre 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Håkan Edström
    • 1
  • Dennis Gyllensporre
    • 2
  1. 1.Swedish National Defence CollegeStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Peace and Conflict ResearchUppsala UniversitySweden

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