Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Ban Policy

Governance of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including Gaza and parts of the West Bank, is assigned to the Palestinian National Authority (PA). Two Palestinian factions, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, both claim to be the legitimate governing authority of the OPT. Neither faction has made any recent public statements on its policy toward banning antipersonnel mines.

The Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN attended the intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in June 2011. In 2009, the PA-Fatah had sent a representative to the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva, its first participation in meetings related to the Mine Ban Treaty since the First Meeting of States Parties in Mozambique in May 1999.

In September 2012, the OPT submitted a voluntary Article 7 report. The report states that a Higher Committee for Mine Action, within the Ministry of Interior, was established in 2012 as an interministerial body, which is currently developing and adapting legislation with regards to mine action. In February 2012, the Higher Committee mandated and allocated resources to the Palestinian Mine Action Centre (PMAC) to coordinate all mine action related aspects in the West Bank. [1] The PMAC was established in April 2012.[2]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

The Monitor has not found any allegations of use of antipersonnel mines or mine-like devices by any Palestinian entity in recent years.[3]

In its voluntary transparency report, the OPT states that it does not possess a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, that it does not retain any mines for training purposes, and will only transfer mines for destruction. The report also states that it has never had production facilities for antipersonnel mines. The report lists mined areas and provides information on the status of its risk education and victim assistance programs.[4]

In February 2012, the Israeli Army seized and surrounded land belonging to a Palestinian family in the southern West Bank town of Surif by placing yellow warning signs, claiming that the land was mine-ridden and that the area was a closed military zone. The owner claimed that the area was cleared of mines by the PA more than 20 years before; the owner said the mines had been laid by the Israeli Army when the area was used for military training.[5]

In June 2012, the UN conducted training in landmine removal for three weeks. The training was held in Jericho under the auspices of the Interior Ministries Palestinian Centre for Mine Action, and trained members of the public security forces.[6]


[1] Mine Ban Treaty Voluntary Article 7 Report, covering period until 1 August 2012, submitted to the Depository in September 2012,

[2] “The Palestinian Mine Action Center (PMAC),”On the Record, 26 June 2012,

[3] Palestinian militias have produced and used command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Mine Ban Treaty prohibits use of victim-activated IEDs and booby-traps, which function as antipersonnel mines, but does not prohibit use of command-detonated IEDs. Media and other reports are not always clear whether devices involved in explosive incidents in the OPT are victim-activated or command-detonated, and reports often use a number of terms interchangeably, citing the use of bombs, landmines, booby-traps, and IEDs.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Voluntary Article 7 Report, covering period of until 1 August 2012, submitted to the Depository in September 2012,

[5] “Israeli Land Mines Still Pose Problems for Palestinian Communities,” Palestinian Solidarity Project, 29 February 2012,

[6]UN experts train Palestinian security to remove land mines,” Palestine TV, Ramallah (re-broadcast in English language translation on Mosaic News), 25 June 2012,