Austria Begins Withdrawing Peacekeepers from Golan

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel's border with Syria is getting increasingly tense.

Austria began withdrawing its nearly 400 U.N. peacekeeping forces from the Syrian border, leaving slightly more than 500 members of the U.N. force that has patrolled the border since 1974.

Last week, rebel fighters overran the Quneitra crossing, the only border crossing between Israel and Syria, sending peacekeepers running for cover.

Fierce battles followed between the rebels and government forces, who succeeded in ousting the rebels. One Filipino peacekeeper was injured and Austria decided to withdraw its forces.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Austria's withdrawal from the northern border reinforces the fact that Israel can only rely on itself for its security.

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