Israel TV: UN had Qatar pay $25m ransom to free Golan peacekeepers


UN Fijian peacekeepers members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) wave as they ride on top of a vehicle while leaving the Syrian side of the Golan Heights into the Israeli side of the strategic plateau, on September 15, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/ JALAA MAREY)
Channel 2 broadcasts footage it says shows UN officials and Al-Nusra rebels finalizing deal last month to secure release of 45 Fijian troops.

By Ilan Ben ZionThe Times of Israel

The United Nations last month secured the release of 45 Fijian peacekeeping soldiers, kidnapped on the Syrian side of Golan Heights by the Nusra Front, through the payment of a $25 million ransom by Qatar, an Israeli TV report claimed.

The Fijian soldiers, members of UNDOF, were captured on August 28 by the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, along the DMZ separating Israel and Syria. Their September 11 release, Israel’s Channel 2 said Friday, was obtained after Doha made the ransom payment.

The TV report (Hebrew) said the deal made a mockery of UN and Western leaders’ rhetoric against doing deals with terrorists and paying ransoms for the release of hostages.

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