A million Israeli landmines planted in occupied Palestinian West Bank

25/05/2013 12:55
The 1997 Ottawa Treaty bans the use of mines, but countries like the US and Israel have opted to not sign the treaty

The 1997 Ottawa Treaty bans the use of mines, but countries like the US and Israel have opted to not sign the treaty

About a million landmines have been planted by the Israeli occupation in occupied Palestinian West Bank, official Palestinian data has shown.

The Commissioner General of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in Washington, Maan Erekat, said: "The number of Israeli landmines planted is between 800,000 to a million."

During his meeting with UN and NGO officials in New York on Wednesday, Erekat said: "This significant number of landmines poses great direct danger to the safety and security of Palestinian citizens." He discussed efforts with the officials he met to remove these landmines.

Erekat reiterated the importance of "continuing the efforts being exerted by the UN and NGO in cooperation with Palestinian parties to remove the landmines planted around the occupied West Bank."

The Israeli occupation has planted landmines in the Palestinian territories since it occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967 under "security" pretexts.

There are about 51 landmine fields scattered around the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially in the Jordan valley, the north and west of the West Bank, near the 'Green Line,' around Israeli settlements and around large empty spaces where Israeli soldiers practice their military drills.

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