Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 July 2016

Summary: Non-signatory Israel has acknowledged the humanitarian concerns with cluster munitions, but sees military utility in the weapons. It has never participated in a meeting of the convention and abstained from voting on a UN resolution on the convention in December 2015.

Israel is a producer, importer, and exporter of cluster munitions and it likely has a significant stockpile, but has never disclosed information on the quantities or types. It also hosts a stockpile of US cluster munitions that are available for transfer to Israel in an emergency. Israel’s last use of cluster munitions in south Lebanon in 2006 was part of the catalyst for the creation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.


The State of Israel has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Israel has acknowledged humanitarian concerns with cluster munitions, but sees military utility in the weapons. Israel last elaborated its views on accession to the convention in November 2011, when it commented that “instruments” on cluster munitions “may be more expansive, but nevertheless do not enjoy the support of many relevant states,” a clear reference to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[1]

In a 2009 letter to the Monitor, Israel said it “shares the views of those states wishing to alleviate the humanitarian concerns that may be associated with the use of cluster munitions,” which it said could be best achieved within the framework of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), to which it is a party.[2] Israel is not known to have reevaluated that position since the 2011 failure of the CCW to agree on a draft protocol on cluster munitions, leaving the Convention on Cluster Munitions as the sole international instrument dedicated to ending the suffering caused by cluster munitions.[3]

On 7 December 2015, Israel abstained from the vote on the first UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution on the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which urges states outside the convention to “join as soon as possible.”[4] Israel did not explain the reasons for its abstention on the non-binding resolution, which 140 states voted for, including many non-signatories.

Israel did not participate in the diplomatic Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[5] From 2000—when the CCW first began discussing cluster munitions—until mid-2008, Israel opposed any new rules or regulations for states on the use of cluster munitions, insisting that existing international law was sufficient. It justified its use of cluster munitions in Lebanon in 2006, by arguing the use was in conformity with international humanitarian law. It said, “Both international law and accepted practice do not prohibit the use of…‘cluster bombs.’ Consequently, the main issue…should be the method of their use, rather than their legality.”[6]

Israel has never attended a meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, even as an observer as other states not party have done. Israel was invited to, but did not attend the First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in September 2015.

Israel has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2015.[7]

Israel is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.


Israel used cluster munitions in July and August 2006 in south Lebanon against Hezbollah, in 1982 in Lebanon against Syrian forces and non-state armed groups (NSAG), and in 1978 in south Lebanon. In 1973, Israel used cluster munitions in Syria against NSAG training camps near Damascus.[8] Israeli air forces also used cluster bombs against Egyptian air defense positions in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.[9]

In January 2008, the Winograd Commission of inquiry appointed by the Israeli government to investigate the 2006 conflict reported a lack of clarity regarding the acceptable or appropriate use of cluster munitions.[10] In October 2012, a senior Israeli military officer briefing foreign journalists reportedly said that in any future war with Hezbollah, Israel’s cluster munition use would be “much reduced, significantly reduced,” compared to its previous use of the weapons during the 2006 conflict. According to the official, “Due to a whole range of considerations—legitimacy, our non-indifference to the treaty, effectiveness and other factors—cluster use is expected to be reduced in combat in the rural areas.”[11]

Israel has not used cluster munitions since 2006.

Production and transfer

Israel has been a major producer and exporter of cluster munitions, primarily artillery projectiles and rockets containing the M85 dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) submunition equipped with a back-up pyrotechnic self-destruct fuze.[12]

Israel Military Industries (IMI) has produced, license-produced, and exported cluster munitions including artillery projectiles (105mm, 122mm, 130mm, 152mm, 155mm, 175mm, and 203mm), mortar bombs (120mm), and rockets (EXTRA, GRADLAR, and LAR-160).[13]

In the past, Israel concluded licensing agreements for the M85 with Germany, India, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US).[14] Based on lot numbers and production markings, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and the UK have also declared stockpiling 155mm artillery projectiles containing M85 submunitions in their transparency reports for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Azerbaijan received a total of 50 Extra surface-to-surface missiles from Israel for its Lynx-type launchers in 2008–2009; it had ordered them in 2005.[15] Georgia received four GRADLAR 122mm/160mm rocket launcher units from Israel in 2007.[16] State Party Chile declared possessing 249 LAR-160 cluster munition rockets.[17] Israel reportedly also exported the LAR-160 rocket system to Venezuela.[18]

In 2015, the government put state-owned IMI up for sale as part of a privatization measure.[19] As of June 2016, negotiations were reportedly continuing with Elbit Systems over the purchase of IMI, now reportedly known as “IMI Systems Ltd.”[20] Meanwhile, Israel’s Minister of Defense appointed a new chair of IMI.[21]

The IMI website no longer lists the M85 DPICM submunition among its products. The site, however, lists the M99 “dual-purpose advanced submunition” that IMI says provides “improved operational safety and reliability” and “guarantees extremely low dude rate” due to three independent fuze mechanisms.[22]

Israel has produced several types of air-dropped cluster munitions. The Rafael Corporation is credited with producing the ATAP-300, ATAP-500, ATAP-1000 RAM, TAL-1, and TAL-2 cluster bombs, as well as the BARAD Helicopter Submunition Dispenser.[23] In August 2011, Venezuela announced its destruction of Israeli-made AS TAL-1 cluster bombs belonging to its air force.[24] An air-dropped cluster bomb of Israeli origin called ARC-32 was reportedly stockpiled by Colombia.[25]

Israel has imported cluster munitions from the US, including M26 rockets (each with 644 submunitions) for its M270 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) launchers and 155mm M483A1 projectiles (each with 88 submunitions). It used both in south Lebanon in 2006. The US has also supplied Israel with Rockeye cluster bombs (with 247 bomblets each) and CBU-58B cluster bombs (with 650 bomblets each).[26]


The size and composition of Israel’s current stockpile of cluster munitions is not known, but it is likely to be significant and comprised of the cluster munitions listed above.[27]

Israel also hosts a stockpile of US ammunition, which could be transferred to Israel in an emergency.[28] That cluster munitions were part of this stockpile was disclosed in a 2008 US Department of State cable released by Wikileaks in 2011 that contained the claim that in 2008, US-manufactured cluster munitions with more than a 1% tested failure rate “constitute greater than 60 percent of the overall” holdings of cluster munitions in the “pre-positioned War Reserve Stockpiles in Israel (WRSA/I).”[29] The Israeli officials reportedly warned the US that “unless the prohibition is lifted, Israel will have to revise its defensive doctrine, find a solution to the one-percent dud rate requirement for cluster munitions, and look to another type of weapon system on which to center its self defense strategy.”[30]

[1] Statement of Israel, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 14 November 2011.

[2] Letter from Rodica Radian-Gordon, Director, Arms Control Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Human Rights Watch (HRW), 23 February 2009. In June 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the views it expressed in a 2009 letter to the Monitor remain unchanged. Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 19 June 2011.

[3] Statement of Israel, CCW Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 25 November 2011. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[4]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 70/54, 7 December 2015.

[5] For details on Israel’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see HRW and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 212–215.

[6] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Behind the Headlines: Legal and operational aspects of the use of cluster bombs,” 5 September 2006.

[7]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/70/234, 23 December 2015. Israel voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013, and on 18 December 2014.

[8] During the 1978 and 1982 Lebanon conflicts, the United States (US) placed restrictions on the use of its cluster munitions by Israel. In response to Israel’s use of cluster munitions in 1982 and the civilian casualties they caused, the US issued a moratorium on the transfer of cluster munitions to Israel. The moratorium was lifted in 1988. HRW, “Flooding South Lebanon: Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006,” Vol. 20, No. 2(E), February 2008, p. 26.

[9] Abraham Rabinovich. The Yom Kippur War: The Epic Encounter that Transformed the Middle East (New York: Random House), 2004, p. 33.

[10] Landmine Action, “Cluster Munitions: A survey of legal responses,” 2008, pp. 18–26. According to a US Department of State cable dated 7 May 2008 and made public in September 2011, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) lawyers informed the US that “Winograd Report recommendations concerning cluster munitions were being implemented.” According to the cable, “Since the summer of 2006, the IDF has improved command and control over cluster munitions, improved the documentation system utilized by firing level units, revised its training program to ensure widespread familiarization of the requirements for using cluster munitions, and placed a greater emphasis on accountability.” See, “Cluster munitions: Israeli’s operational defensive capabilities crisis,” US Department of State cable 08TELAVIV1012 dated 7 May 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

[11] The official spoke on the condition of anonymity. When asked to clarify the definition of “rural areas,” he said that he meant “most of southern Lebanon.” Dan Williams, “Israel to limit cluster bombs in possible war with Hezbollah,” Reuters (Tel Aviv), 29 October 2012.

[12] In 2004, an IMI representative claimed that the company had produced more than 60 million M85 DPICM submunitions. Mike Hiebel, Alliant TechSystems, and Ilan Glickman, IMI, “Self Destruct Fuze for M864 Projectiles / MLRS Rockets,” Presentation to the 48th Annual Fuze Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, 27–28 April 2004, Slide 9.

[13] Information on surface-launched cluster munitions produced and possessed by Israel is taken primarily from IMI’s corporate website. It has been supplemented with information from Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007) and US Defense Intelligence Agency, “Improved Conventional Munitions and Selected Controlled-Fragmentation Munitions (Current and Projected) DST-1160S-020-90.”

[14] HRW, “Flooding South Lebanon: Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006,” Vol. 20, No. 2(E), February 2008, p. 27.

[15] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), “Arms Transfers Database,” Recipient report for Azerbaijan for the period 1950–2011, generated on 15 May 2012. According to SIPRI, the Azerbaijani designation for the Lynx multiple rocket launchers are Dolu-1, Leysan, and Shimsek.

[16] Georgia has acknowledged using the launchers with 160mm Mk IV rockets, each containing 104 M85 DPICM submunitions, during its 2008 conflict with Russia. The transfer of the GRADLAR launchers was reported in UN Register of Conventional Arms, Submission of Georgia, UN Register of Conventional Arms Report for Calendar Year 2007, 7 July 2008. The Georgian Ministry of Defense on 1 September 2008 admitted to using Mk IV rockets against Russian forces on its website. “Georgian Ministry of Defence’s Response to the Human Rights Watch Inquire [sic] about the Usage of M85 Bomblets.”

[17] Chile, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Forms B and C, September 2012.

[18] It also exported EXTRA surface-to-surface missile system to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, but it is not known if ammunition containing submunitions were included in these deals. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, “Arms Transfers Database.” Recipient report for Israel for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.

[19] Ari Rabinovitch, “A dozen firms interested in sale of Israel Military Industries,” Reuters, 28 May 2015; and Barbara Opall-Rome, “‘No Turning Back’ for IMI Sale,” Defense News, 21 March 2015.

[20]Elbit Systems Reportedly Seeks Acquisition of Israel Military Industries,” Bloomberg, 9 March 2016; and “IMI Privatization to Proceed,” Bloomberg, 8 May 2016.

[21] Former Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch was named as Chairman of IMI. A. Pe'er, “Liberman Appoints New Heads of Defense Industries,” Hamodia, 4 July 2016.

[22] According to IMI, the M99 integrates a proximity sensor and an electronic/pyrotechnic self-destruct mechanism. It can be used in various rockets, projectiles and aerial dispensers. IMI webpage, “M99 Dual-Purpose Advanced Submunition,” undated.

[23] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), pp. 370–380.

[24] “The Ministry of Defense of Venezuela destroys cluster bombs” (“El Ministerio de la Defensa de Venezuela destruye bombas de racimo”),, 26 August 2011.

[25] Presentation on cluster munitions of the Ministry of Defense of Colombia, Bogotá, December 2010.

[26] HRW, “Flooding South Lebanon: Israel’s Use of Cluster Munitions in Lebanon in July and August 2006,” Vol. 20, No. 2(E), February 2008, pp. 27–28.

[27] Additionally, Israel has captured and possesses Grad 122mm surface-to-surface rocket launchers, but it is not known if the ammunition for these weapons includes versions with submunition payloads. International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2011 (London: Routledge, 2011), p. 313; and Colin King, ed., Jane’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal 2007–2008, CD-edition, 15 January 2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2008).

[28] “The [Department of Defense] maintains a [war-reserve stockpile] in Israel. This is a separate stockpile of US-owned munitions and equipment set aside, reserved, or intended for use as war reserve stocks by the US and which may be transferred to the Government of Israel in an emergency, subject to reimbursement.” Legislative Proposals contained in a letter by the General Counsel of the Department of Defense to the chairs of the Congressional Armed Services Committees, 11 March 2004.

[29] According to the cable, until the munitions are transferred from the War Reserve Stockpiles for use by Israel in wartime, “they are considered to be under U.S. title, and U.S. legislation now prevents such a transfer of any cluster munitions with less than a one percent failure rate.” The cable described the inaugural meeting on 1 May 2008 of the “U.S.-Israeli Cluster Munitions Working Group (CMWG).” In this meeting, “Israeli MOD [Ministry of Defense], IDF and MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] officials warned that the current U.S. legislative prohibition on exporting cluster munitions” with more than a one-percent tested failure rate “seriously degrades Israel’s operational capabilities to defend itself.” “Cluster munitions: Israeli’s operational defensive capabilities crisis,” US Department of State cable 08TELAVIV1012 dated 7 May 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

[30]Cluster munitions: Israeli’s operational defensive capabilities crisis,” US Department of State cable 08TELAVIV1012 dated 7 May 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 28 November 2013

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State not party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained from voting on Resolution 67/32 in December 2012

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Did not attend the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2012 or intersessional meetings in May 2013


The State of Israel has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Israel did not make any statements on the Mine Ban Treaty in 2012 or the first half of 2013.

In November 2010, Israel reiterated its long-standing position that “regional circumstances prevailing in the Middle East prevent Israel from committing to a total ban on anti-personnel mines. Unfortunately, these regional conditions have not improved in recent years.”[1] Israel has said that “it is unable to disregard its specific military and security needs” and that “it cannot commit to a total ban on anti-personnel mines as they are a legitimate means for defending its borders against possible incursions such as terrorist attacks.”[2]

On 28 March 2011, Israel’s parliament (the Knesset) unanimously adopted the Mine Field Clearance Act. The law establishes a national mine action authority to manage the clearance of Israel’s “non-operational” minefields, but it does not refer to the Mine Ban Treaty or address the use, production, transfer, or stockpiling of antipersonnel mines.[3]

Israel did not attend any Mine Ban Treaty meetings in 2012 or the first half of 2013. It last attended a formal meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty in November–December 2004, when it participated as an observer in the First Review Conference in Nairobi.

On 3 December 2012, Israel abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 67/32 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has done in previous years. It was one of only 19 nations to abstain.

Israel is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It submitted its annual national report for Amended Protocol II on 1 July 2013, as required under Article 13. Israel is not party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Israel has said it “ceased all production and imports of antipersonnel mines in the early 1980s.”[4] It has dismantled its antipersonnel mine production lines.[5]

Israel declared a moratorium on the transfer of all antipersonnel mines in 1994 that was extended for three-year periods in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011. The current moratorium is effective until July 2014. According to Israel, the moratorium was declared in recognition of the “grave humanitarian consequences” associated with antipersonnel mines and “the need, in this respect, for self imposed state restraint.”[6]

On 31 December 2007, the Defense Export Control Act entered into force in Israel. The act “criminalizes, inter alia, any violation of the export without an export license or contrary to its provisions. This Act serves as Israel’s statutory framework for the implementation of its obligations under the CCW regarding restrictions and prohibitions on transfer and the Moratorium on any sales of [antipersonnel mines].”[7]

The size and composition of Israel’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines remains unknown, but it includes both hand-laid and remotely-delivered mines.[8]


The NGO Mine-Free Israel estimates that there are approximately one million operational and non-operational mines laid in minefields covering more than 197,000 dunams (197 km2) in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.[9]

In August 2011, Bamachaneh, the journal of the Israel Defense Force (IDF), reported that the IDF laid antipersonnel mines in the Golan Heights along the border with Syria.[10] The mines were laid after hundreds of civilians entered Israeli territory on 15 May 2011 during the annual Palestinian commemoration of “Nakba Day,” apparently crossing through minefields uninjured.[11]

The ICBL denounced the mine-laying as “shocking” and “disgraceful.”[12] The president of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties issued a statement expressing concern.[13]

In 2012, no new use of antipersonnel mines by the IDF was reported, but Israel stated that “extended monitoring, fences and markings of the minefields” was undertaken by the IDF’s engineering corps.[14]


[1] Letter from Eyal Propper, Director of Arms Control Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 November 2010.

[2] Email from Joshua Zarka, Counselor for Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 April 2007. Israel made a similar statement at the UN First Committee meetings in October 2011, stating “as long as the regional security situation continues to impose a threat on Israel’s safety and sovereignty, the need to protect the Israeli borders – including through the use of AP [antipersonnel] mines – cannot [be] diminished.” See statement of Israel, UNGA First Committee, New York, 4 October 2011.

[3]Mine Field Clearance Act, 5771-2011, 14 March 2011.

[4] Email from Meir Itzchaki, Regional Security and Arms Control Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 February 2003. In the past, Israel produced low metal content blast antipersonnel mines (No. 4, No. 10), a bounding fragmentation mine (No. 12), and Claymore-type directional fragmentation munitions, designated M18A1.

[5] Interview with members of the Israeli delegation to the Eighth Session of the CCW Group of Government Experts, Geneva, 8 July 2004.

[7] Ibid., Form D, November 2007.

[8] Israel reported that in 2005 the IDF destroyed 15,510 outdated mines at an ammunition disposal facility. It has not reported any further destruction of mines since that time. CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form C, 22 November 2005.

[9] Rebecca Anna Stoil, “Knesset paves way for landmine clearance effort,” Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2011,

[10] The mines were laid openly and in daylight by Combat Engineering Corps officer cadets; they were placed beyond the border security fence but within the “Alpha Line” that marks the border with Syria. Gil Ronen, “Antipersonnel Mines Laid Along Syria Border ‘for September,’” Arutz Sheva (Israel News), 11 August 2011,

[11] According to IDF Maj. Ariel Ilouz, “Because of age, rain and other natural hazards the antipersonnel mines that were laid along the border were full of mud…. They were simply stuck. These mines have been are as [sic] old as 35–36 years and have not been touched.” Or Butbul and Reut Farkash, “Operation Mine,”

[12] The ICBL described Israel’s use of antipersonnel mines to prevent border crossings as “unlawful as it is an unnecessary and disproportionate use of lethal force.” ICBL Press release, “Nobel Peace Prize-winning global campaign strongly condemns Israel’s new use of landmines,” 16 August 2011.

[13] Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit Press release, “President of Convention Banning Anti-Personnel Mines Expresses Concern About New Use of Mines by Israel,” Geneva, 6 September 2011,

Mine Action

Last updated: 23 November 2016

The State of Israel has at least 92km2 of confirmed and suspected mine contaminated areas, of which 34km2 are confirmed to contain antipersonnel mines. In 2015, 34km2 of suspected mined area was canceled through non-technical survey (NTS), and 0.7km2 of land was released by clearance.

Recommendation for action

  • Israel should report the extent of mine contamination nationwide, not merely the areas considered not essential for Israel’s security.


The exact extent of mine contamination in Israel is not known. Israel has reported 51km2 of confirmed mined area and a further 41km2 of suspected mined area, as set out in the table below. But the combined 126km2 represents only the area affected by mines that are not deemed essential to Israel’s security. The size of other mined areas is not made public.

Israel’s mine problem dates back to World War II. Subsequently, Israel laid significant numbers of mines along its borders, near military camps and training areas, and near civilian infrastructure. In August 2011, Israel’s military reported planting new mines to reinforce minefields and other defenses along its de facto border with Syria in the Golan Heights.[2]

The 2015 estimate of 92km2 for mined areas that are not considered essential for Israel’s security is a marked reduction on the 2014 estimate of 126km2.[3] This is due to a large area of land being canceled by NTS in 2015.

Mine contamination as at November 2015[1]

Type of contamination


Area (km2)


Area (km2)

AP mines only





AV mines only





AP and AV mines










Note: CHAs = confirmed hazardous areas; SHAs = suspected hazardous areas; AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

Mine contamination in Israel impacts progress in regional development, and poses a risk to local communities.[4]

Program Management

The Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA) is responsible for undertaking a “comprehensive programme of mine clearing projects inside Israel” in accordance with a 2011 demining law.[5] The law’s aim was “to create a normative infrastructure for the clearance of minefields that are not essential to national security, and to declare them as free from landmines with the highest degree of safety to civilians, in accordance with the international obligations of the State of Israel, and within the shortest period of time possible.”[6]

INMAA was established in the Ministry of Defense, with ministry staff responsible for planning mine action. INMAA is comprised of nine employees.[7] INMAA manages a “minefield information bank” that is open for public queries concerning demining plans and programs.[8]

Strategic planning

Israel reports that INMAA has a multi-year clearance plan for 2014−2017 that calls for clearance of areas in northern Israel (Galilee and the Golan Heights) in the summer, and in southern Israel (the Jordan Valley and Arava Plain) in the winter.[9] In addition, INMAA will continue to manage projects in the West Bank, funded by the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[10] (See Palestine mine action profile for further details.)

In addition, a number of development projects funded by local electricity, water, and infrastructure companies and authorities pay for mine clearance.[11]

Clearance tasks are assigned according to a classification formula laid down by INMAA: prioritization is set nationally every three years. The criteria used for the formula are largely based on the risk level and development potential of the affected areas.[12] INMAA has been conducting a study on the social and economic impacts of land released in the last four years, as well as on the potential impact for future clearance sites.[13]

Legislation and standards

The 2011 law on minefield clearance was noted above. INMAA sets national standards “taking into consideration the procedures of the Israel Defense Forces that will be as compatible as possible with the International Mine Action Standards.”[14]


Commercial companies are contracted to conduct clearance as well as quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). In 2015, clearance was contracted to two national companies: Eitan Lidor Projects (ELP) and the Israeli Mine Action Group (IMAG).[15]

Machines have been deployed since INMAA’s first project in 2012, and mechanical assets include various systems for screening and crushing, and use of flails for ground preparation and survey, but not for clearance.[16]

In 2015, 92 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel, 21 mechanical operators, and 19 machines were deployed for clearance operations.[17] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also conduct mine clearance according to their own mine action plans “that are executed by their military methods and techniques,” and implement an annual program that includes maintenance of mined area protections.[18] During wintertime, the IDF give special attention to minefields that are close to farms, residential areas, or hiker routes, as mines may be carried into these areas by floods.[19]

Quality management

Every mine clearance project in Israel has an INMAA supervisor, a QA/QC contractor, and a clearance operator. Four QA/QC contractors were formally registered, as at the end of 2015.[20] Zeev Levanon Projects and 4CI Security were contracted to conduct QA and QC of clearance operations in 2015.[21]

Land Release

In 2015, almost 0.7km2 was released by clearance, compared to 1.2km2 in 2014.[22] A further 34km2 was canceled by NTS.

Survey in 2015 

In 2015, 34km2 was canceled through NTS. This was the result of a geomorphological survey conducted in flooded areas, which showed that the water that ran through the minefields did not necessarily reach all areas in the river basin.[23]

Clearance in 2015

Almost 0.7km2 of land was released by clearance in 2015 (excluding the West Bank).[24] 

Mine clearance in 2015[25]


Areas released

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

UXO destroyed



















Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle; UXO = unexploded ordnance.

Clearance in 2015 was split between northern and southern Israel. ELP carried out clearance tasks in the Valley of Springs in the north and Ein Yahav in the south. IMAG carried out clearance in Snir in the north.[26]

The area cleared or released by the IDF is unknown. According to Israel’s Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Article 13 transparency report for 2015, the IDF has made significant progress in clearing minefields and releasing areas of land for civilian use.[27]

Progress in 2016

In 2016–2017, INMAA was planning for mine clearance at a targeted rate of 1.5km2 per year.[28] INMAA was planning to implement the use of mine detection dogs in 2016.[29]

Clearance operations are concentrated on areas for agricultural development in the south (the Jordan Valley and Arava Plain), together with clearance in the north (Galilee and the Golan Heights) to improve access to water, to clear hiking trails, and to expand cattle grazing areas.[30]

Past progress

Based on the clearance rates of the last few years, and INMAA’s forecasted clearance rate of 1.5km2 per year, it will take many years to clear remaining contamination. INMAA is seeking additional funding and assistance in order to speed up operations.[31]

Mine clearance in 2011–2015[32]


Area cleared (m2)













Note: N/R = not reported.


The Monitor gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review supported and published by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), which conducted mine action research in 2016 and shared it with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

[1] Email from Michael Heiman, Director of Technology and Knowledge Management, Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA), 19 September 2016.

[2]Israel army plants new mines along Syria border,” Associated Press, 13 August 2011.

[3] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 13 April 2015.

[4] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[5] Minefield Clearance Law 5771-2011 of March 2011, unofficial translation. See, Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2010), Form A. Form A refers to details provided in Form D, but information in Form D was deleted.

[6] Minefield Clearance Law 2011 (MCL 5771-2011).

[7] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[8] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2015), Form A.

[9] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.; and from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 May 2012.

[15] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Email from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2014; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2015), Form B.

[19] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2015), Form B.

[20] Ibid., Form G.

[21] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[22] Ibid., 13 April 2015.

[23] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid. According to Israel’s CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2015), Form B, 21,322 mines were destroyed in 2015.

[26] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[27] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2015), Form B.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Email from Michel Heiman, INMAA, 19 September 2016.

[32] See Landmine Monitor and Mine Action Review reports on clearance in Israel covering 2011–2014.

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 12 July 2016


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2015

15 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties

Casualties in 2015

1 (2014: 0)

2015 casualties by outcome

1 injured (2014: 0)

2015 casualties by item type

1 antipersonnel mine (2014: 0)


One new casualty was reported in the State of Israel in 2015, when a female soldier was injured by a landmine in the Golan Heights.[1]

No new mine/ERW casualties were identified in Israel in 2014. One explosive incident in the Golan Heights was reported in the media as injuring four Israeli soldiers;[2] however, the Monitor was not able to confirm the cause of the explosion.

In 2013, the Monitor identified three mine/ERW casualties. One soldier was killed in an accident during in a demining training course in the Golan Heights[3] and one civilian was injured when he stepped on a mine in an abandoned building in the Jordan Valley.[4] In March of the same year, a teenager was badly injured while tampering with by unexploded ordnance at a home in Safed.[5]

From 1999 to the end of 2015, the Monitor recorded 15 mine/ERW casualties in Israel.[6]

Cluster munition strikes in 2006 caused 13 casualties in Israel.[7] No further casualties from cluster munition remnants have been identified.

Victim Assistance

The total number of mine/ERW survivors in Israel is not known. “Victims of hostile activities,” including mine survivors, are entitled to benefits, rehabilitation, and grants under the Benefits for Victims of Hostilities Law of 1970.[8] The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, including victims of mines/ERW.[9]

Numerous government bodies were responsible for providing assistance to persons with disabilities. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services was responsible for overseeing most disability services. The Ministry of Health provided mental health and rehabilitation services, and the Ministry of Education provided special education services to persons with disabilities.[10]

In some cases, the law gave priority to persons with disabilities, particularly in regards to access to public facilities. The government also signed an Encouragement of Employment of Persons with Disabilities order, requiring an increase in employment of persons with disabilities in the workforce.[11]

Lack of accessibility and societal discrimination in multiple areas, including employment, transportation, education, and housing (in regards to access to community-based independent living facilities), were persistent challenges for persons with disabilities.[12]

Israel ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 28 September 2012.

[1]IDF officer loses foot in landmine explosion in Golan Heights,” The Jerusalem Post, 2 April 2015.

[4]Hiker loses foot after stepping on mine in Jordan Valley,” Times of Israel, 30 October 2013.

[5]Teen badly injured as old munition explodes,Times of Israel, 14 March 2013.

[6] See previous Monitor country profiles for Israel on the Monitor website.

[7] Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels, May 2007), p. 115.

[8] National Insurance Institute of Israel, “Benefits for Victims of Hostilities,” undated.

[9] United States Department of State, “2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Israel and The Occupied Territories,” Washington, DC, 13 April 2016.

[10] See previous Monitor country profiles for Israel on the Monitor website.

[11] Department of State, “2015 Country Reports: Israel and The Occupied Territories,” 13 April 2016.

[12] Ibid.