Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 24 September 2019


The State of Palestine acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 29 December 2017.[1] The treaty came into force for it on 1 June 2018.

As a State Party, Palestine submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report in November 2018, which stated that Palestine is working to pass a draft law to implement the convention, though it did not provide any details on whether such a law has been introduced in the Legislative Council.[2]

Previously, in September 2012, Palestine 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 committee mandated and allocated resources to the Palestinian Mine Action Center (PMAC) to coordinate all mine action-related aspects in the West Bank.[3] The PMAC was established in April 2012.[4] Palestine submitted an additional voluntary Article 7 report in 2013.

Palestine attended the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, as well as the intersessional meetings in June 2018.

Palestine is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but not its Amended Protocol II on landmines or Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

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.[5]

In its 2012 voluntary transparency report, Palestine stated that it does not possess a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, will not retain any mines for training purposes, and will only transfer mines for destruction. The report also stated that it never had production facilities for antipersonnel mines. The report listed mined areas and provided information on the status of its risk education and victim assistance programs.[6]

Clearance efforts in Palestine are ongoing. In May 2016, the HALO Trust began clearing landmines around Christian holy sites in the West Bank.[7]

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 mined and that the area was a closed military zone. The owner claimed that the area was cleared of mines by the Palestinian Authority 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.[8]

In June 2012, the United Nations conducted training in landmine removal for three weeks. The training was held in Jericho under the auspices of the PMAC, and trained members of the public security forces.[9]

Israel does not coordinate with the Palestinian Authority on mine clearance, but has been involved in mine clearance around Israel’s illegal settlements in order to expand them.[10]

[1] UN, C.N.810.2017.TREATIES-XXVI.5 (Depositary Notification).

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

[5] 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 Palestine 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.

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

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

[10] Jacob Magid, “Defense Ministry clears minefield near settlement, pledges new housing on site,” The Times of Israel, 3 April 2018. The settlements are generally agreed to be illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which prohibits countries from moving population into territories occupied in a war.