Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 03 August 2017

Summary: Non-signatory Israel has acknowledged the humanitarian concerns associated with cluster munitions, but sees military utility in the weapons and rarely comments on the convention. Israel has never participated in a meeting of the convention and abstained from voting on a key UN resolution on the convention in December 2016.

Israel is a producer, importer, and exporter of cluster munitions. It likely has a significant number of cluster munitions stockpiled, but has never disclosed information on the number or types. Israel also hosts a stockpile of United States (US) cluster munitions that are available for transfer to Israel in an emergency. Israel’s last use of cluster munitions in southern Lebanon in 2006 was part of the catalyst behind 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 December 2016, Israel abstained from the vote on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that calls on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[2] Israel also abstained from the vote on the first UNGA resolution on the convention in December 2015.[3]

Israel did not participate in the diplomatic Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[4] From 2000—when the Convention on Conventional Weapons (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.”[5]

Israel has never participated in a meeting of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, even as an observer. It was invited to, but did not attend the convention’s Sixth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in September 2016.

Israel has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions expressing outrage at the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2016.[6]

Israel is not party to the Mine Ban Treaty.

Israel is a party to the CCW and in the past supported efforts to address cluster munitions through the CCW framework.[7] Israel has not reviewed that position since the CCW failed in 2011 to agree on a draft protocol on cluster munitions. This effectively ended CCW deliberations on cluster munitions and has left the Convention on Cluster Munitions as the sole international instrument dedicated to ending the suffering caused by these weapons.


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

In 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 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]

There is no evidence that Israel has 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 projectiles (120mm), and rockets (EXTRA, GRADLAR, and LAR-160).[13]

In the past, Israel concluded licensing agreements for production or assembly of the M85 with Germany, India, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK), and the 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.[15] Georgia received four GRADLAR 122mm/160mm rocket launcher units from Israel in 2007.[16] State Party Chile has reported that it possessed 249 LAR-160 cluster munition rockets.[17] Israel reportedly also exported the LAR-160 rocket system to Venezuela.[18]

The IMI website no longer lists the M85 DPICM submunition among its products. The sitedid once list the M99 “dual-purpose advanced submunition” that IMI said provided “improved operational safety and reliability” and “guarantees extremely low dud rate” due to three independent fuze mechanisms.[19]

Israel also produced several types of air-dropped cluster munitions. The Rafael Corporation produced ATAP-300, ATAP-500, ATAP-1000 RAM, TAL-1, and TAL-2 cluster bombs, as well as the BARAD Helicopter Submunition Dispenser.[20] In 2011, Venezuela announced its destruction of Israeli-made AS TAL-1 cluster bombs belonging to its air force.[21] An air-dropped cluster bomb of Israeli origin called ARC-32 was stockpiled by Colombia.[22]

Israel has imported cluster munitions from the US, including M26 rockets (each with 644 M77 DPICM submunitions) for its M270 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) launchers and 155mm M483A1 projectiles (each with 88 M42/M46 submunitions). Israel used both in southern Lebanon in 2006. Israel also used US-made and supplied Rockeye cluster bombs (with 247 bomblets each) and CBU-58B cluster bombs (with 650 bomblets each).[23]


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.[24]

Israel also hosts a stockpile of US ammunition, which could be transferred to Israel in an emergency.[25] That cluster munitions were part of this stockpile was revealed 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).”[26] 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.”[27]

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

[2]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UNGA Resolution 71/45, 5 December 2016.

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

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

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

[6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 71/203, 19 December 2016. Israel voted in favor of similar resolutions in 2013–2015.

[7] Letter from Rodica Radian-Gordon, Director, Arms Control Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to 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. See also, statement of Israel, CCW Fourth Review Conference, Geneva, 25 November 2011. Notes by Action on Armed Violence.

[8] During the 1978 and 1982 Lebanon conflicts, the 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 30 August 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,” undated.

[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 used the launchers with 160mm Mk IV rockets, each containing 104 M85 DPICM submunitions, during a 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,” undated.

[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. SIPRI, “Arms Transfers Database.” Recipient report for Israel for the period 1950–2011, generated on 6 June 2012.

[19] 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.

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

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

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

[23] 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.

[24] 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).

[25] “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.

[26] 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 30 August 2011.

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

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 23 October 2017


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

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 2016 or the first half of 2017. 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.

Israel abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 71/34 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it has done in previous years.

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 30 March 2017, 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, 2011, and 2014. The 2014 extension was effective until July 2017.[6] 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.”[7]

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].”[8]

The size and composition of Israel’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines remains unknown, but it includes both hand-laid and remotely-delivered mines.[9]

In the summer of 2017, the Israeli Mine Action Authority (INMAA) began a three-year effort to clear minefields in the Golan Heights under Israel’s control.[10]


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 Palestine.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13]

The ICBL denounced the mine-laying as “shocking” and “disgraceful.”[14] The president of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Tenth Meeting of States Parties issued a statement expressing concern.[15]

[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, UN General Assembly 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., 3 July 2013.

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

[9] Israel reported that in 2005 the Israeli Defense Force (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.

[10] Anna Ahronheim, “New Golan Mine-Clearing Project to Begin This Summer,” The Jerusalem Post, 16 March 2017.

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

[12] 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.

[13] 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,” undated.

[14] 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.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty 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: 13 December 2017

The State of Israel has at least 91km2 of confirmed and suspected mine-contaminated areas, of which 25.2km2 are confirmed to contain antipersonnel mines. In 2016, 0.92km2 of land was released by clearance, with the destruction of 4,313 antipersonnel mines. The clearance results of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) were not reported.

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 49km2 of confirmed mined area and a further 48.8km2 of suspected mined area, as of the end of 2016.[1] But the combined 91km2 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 2016 estimate of 91km2 for mined areas that are not considered essential for Israel’s security is a small reduction on the 2015 estimate of 92km2.[3] This is a result of 1km2 of mine clearance in 2016.[4]

Mine contamination in Israel impacts progress in regional development, and poses a risk to local communities.[5]

Mine contamination (as at end 2016)[6]

Type of contamination


Area (km2)


Area (km2)

AP mines only





AV mines only





AP and AV mines










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

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.[7] 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.”[8]

INMAA, which has 10 staff, was established in the Ministry of Defense, with ministry staff responsible for planning mine action.[9] INMAA manages a “minefield information bank” that is open for public queries concerning demining plans and programs.[10]

Strategic planning

INMAA has a multi-year clearance plan for 2017–2020 that plans to focus on technical survey and clearance in northern Israel (the Golan Heights) in the spring/summer/autumn, and in southern Israel (the Jordan Valley and Arava Plain) in the winter.[11]

In addition, INMAA continues to oversee HALO Trust clearance projects in Area C of the West Bank.[12] Furthermore, at the start of 2017, INMAA began survey of the Jordan Valley minefields in the West Bank, using national budget and operating through Israeli companies. INMAA sees significant potential for cancelation and reduction of land in the Jordan Valley, and is using various technologies and scientific tools to measure mine drift possibilities.[13] (See Palestine mine action profile for further details.)

A number of development projects funded by local electricity, water, and infrastructure companies and authorities also pay for mine clearance.[14]

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.[15] INMAA has been conducting a study of the social and economic impacts of land released over the last four years, as well as on the potential impact for future clearance sites.[16]

Legislation and standards

The 2011 law on minefield clearance noted above is the main legislation governing mine action. 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.”[17]


Commercial companies are contracted to conduct clearance as well as quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). In 2016, clearance was contracted to three national companies: the Israeli Mine Action Group (IMAG), NARSHA, and AMAN.[18]

Several kinds of machines in its mine clearance operations for ground preparation, survey, and clearance. They are said to include, as appropriate, screening and crushing systems, bucket loaders, excavators, sifters, and flails/tillers. Some of these operations are conducted by Israel directly while others are performed by contractors.[19]

Throughout 2016, INMAA was supported by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) in developing a mine detection dogs (MDD) capacity.[20] A pilot project using MDDs was conducted in the first half of 2017,[21] but as of July no results from the pilot project were publicly available.

In 2016, 130 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel, 30 mechanical operators, and 50 machines were deployed for clearance operations.[22] This marks a significant increase to the 92 EOD personnel, 21 mechanical operators, and 19 machines deployed in 2015,[23] and is due to an increase in funding.[24]

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.” They have an annual program that includes demining, monitoring, and maintenance of mined area protection.[25] 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.[26]

In addition, INMAA reported that it had secured the continuation of HALO Trust’s clearance program in Area C of the West Bank until the end of 2019.[27] HALO Trust works under the auspices of both the INMAA and the Palestine Mine Action Center (PMAC), but is funded by international donors.[28] (See separate report on Palestine).

Quality management

Every mine clearance project in Israel has an INMAA supervisor, a QA/QC contractor, and a clearance operator. There were five QA/QC contractors were formally registered, as of July 2017. Of these, Zeev Levanon Projects and 4CI Security were contracted to conduct QA and QC of clearance operations in 2016.[29]

Land Release

In 2016, almost 1km2 was released by clearance, compared to 0.7km2 in 2015. No mined area was released by survey in 2016.[30]

Survey in 2016

No area was reported as having been reduced by technical survey or canceled by non-technical survey in 2016.[31]

INMAA did, however, report that following 2016 operations in the Snir area of the Golan Heights, INMAA changed nine areas previously designated confirmed hazardous areas to suspected hazardous areas, and identified them for technical survey. These areas will be surveyed as part of the Golan Heights program in 2017–2020.[32]

Clearance in 2016

More than 0.92km2 of land was released by clearance in 2016 (excluding the West Bank), with the destruction of 4,313 antipersonnel mines, 361 antivehicle mines, and 25 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO).[33]

Mine clearance in 2016[34]


Areas released

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

























Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

In 2016, IMAG carried out clearance in the Snir (Golan Heights), NARSHA conducted clearance in Ein Yahav (Arava Plain), and AMAN cleared mined areas in the Dead Sea region.

IDF demining is implemented independently of INMAA, using military methods and techniques.[35] The area cleared or otherwise released by the IDF is unknown. According to Israel’s Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Amended Protocol II Article 13 transparency report for 2016, the IDF has made significant progress in “re-surveying mine affected areas, and in examining the possibility of area cancelation, following a completion of a fully detailed non-technical survey.”[36]

INMAA typically plans for mine clearance at a targeted rate of 1.5km2 per year.[37] During 2016, however, INMAA decided to postpone operations in the Golan Heights until 2017, and because of this, the 2016 target was reduced to 1km2, while the 2017 target was raised to 2km2.[38]

Progress towards completion

In 2016, the annual mine action budget for Israel was NIS42.3 million (approximately US$12 million), of which NIS27 million was from INMAA’s budget and the NIS15.3 million from additional external funding by various infrastructure development companies and authorities.[39] This represents an increase in funding compared to 2015, when there was no additional funding through infrastructure projects.[40]

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.[41]

Mine clearance in 2012–2016[42]


Area cleared (km2)













Note: N/R = not reported.



The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (, which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports 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, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[2] Ibid.

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

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

[5] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[6] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[7] 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.

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

[9] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[10] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form A.

[11] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[12] Ibid., 19 September 2016; and from Ronen Shimoni, Programme Manager, HALO Trust, 22 April 2017.

[13] Emails from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July and 10 August 2017.

[14] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[15] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[16] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

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

[18] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[19] Ibid.; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form C.

[20] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form E.

[21] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Email from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2014; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form B.

[26] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form B.

[27] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[28] HALO Trust, “West Bank,” undated.

[29] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[30] Ibid., and 19 September 2016.

[31] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid. According to Israel’s CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form B, 1,024,000m2 was cleared in 2016, with the destruction of 11,081 mines.

[35] Emails from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 13 April 2015; and from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2014.

[36] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2016), Form B.

[37] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 23 July 2017.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[41] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[42] See Landmine Monitor reports on clearance in Israel covering 2012–2015.


Last updated: 27 October 2017

Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2016

16 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties

Casualties in 2016

1 (2015: 1)

2016 casualties by survival outcome

1 injured (2015: 1 injured)


One antivehicle mine casualty was recorded in the State of Israel for 2016. A farmer sustained minor injuries in the Jordan Valley when his tractor hit an antivehicle mine.[1] In addition, several other explosive s incidents were recorded in 2016 that did not have confirmed mine casualties and therefore were not included in the annual casualty total. In January 2016, a landmine exploded due to a fire, however no casualties were reported.[2] Media reports indicated that a roadside bomb detonated in Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms. Because the incident was not clearly victim-activated, as well as contradictory reporting regarding casualties, casualties from this event have not been included in the Monitor’s global mine/ERW casualty total.[3] A similar ambiguously reported incident occurred in September.[4]

One new casualty was reported in Israel in 2015, when a female soldier was injured by a landmine in the occupied Golan Heights.[5]

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;[6] 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 a demining training course in the Golan Heights[7] and one civilian was injured when he stepped on a mine in an abandoned building in the Jordan Valley.[8] In March of the same year, a teenager was badly injured while tampering with an unexploded ordnance at a home in Safed.[9]

From 1999 to the end of 2016, the Monitor recorded 16 mine/ERW casualties in Israel.[10]

Cluster munition casualties

Cluster munition strikes in 2006 caused 13 casualties in Israel.[11] No further casualties from cluster munition remnants have been identified.

[1] Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), “GICHD-SIPRI antivehicle mine database,” provided by email from Ursign Hofmann, Policy Advisor, GICHD, 24 August 2017.

[2]Landmine explosion in northern Israel, no injuries reported,” The Jerusalem Post, 10 September 2016.

[3]Hezbollah Bombing Targets Israeli Military Convoy,” Voice of America, 4 January 2016; and Charles Maccarty, “UN chief condemns roadside bomb attack on Israeli army,” VideoNews, 5 January 2016.

[4]Quand Israël ‘singe’ le Hezbollah” (“When Israel mimics the Hezbollah”), ParsToday, 29 September 2016.

[5] Yaakov Lappin, “IDF officer loses foot in landmine explosion in Golan Heights,” The Jerusalem Post, 4 February 2015.

[6] Yaakov Lappin, “Explosive device detonated near IDF patrol on Syria border; 4 soldiers wounded,” The Jerusalem Post, 18 March 2014; and Yasser Okbi, “Syria denies attacking IDF soldiers on border; says old landmine caused explosion,” The Jerusalem Post, 20 March 2014.

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

[9] Aaron Kalman, “Teen badly injured as old munition explodes,” Times of Israel, 14 March 2013.

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

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

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 13 July 2017


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.[1] The law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities.[2]

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.[3]

In some cases, the law gave priority to persons with disabilities, particularly in regards to access to public facilities. A government decree requires that 3% of the workforce be persons with disabilities by the end of 2017.[4] However, the employment rate among persons with disabilities in Israel was only 51%.[5]

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.[6]

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

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

[2] United States (US) Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Israel and The Occupied Territories,” Washington, DC, March 2017.

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

[4] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Israel and The Occupied Territories,” Washington, DC, March 2017.

[5] Access Israel, “Employment of people with disabilities - legal aspects,” 15 June 2016.

[6] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Israel and The Occupied Territories,” Washington, DC, March 2017.