Mine Action

Last updated: 12 November 2018

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty


Mine action management

National mine action management actors

The Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA)

Mine action legislation

2011 law on minefield clearance

Mine action strategic plan

Multi-year clearance plan for 2017–2020

Mine action standards

National standards in accordance with Israeli Defense Force (IDF) procedures, as compatible as possible with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS)

Operators in 2017

Israeli Mine Action Group (IMAG)


Extent of contamination as of end 2017


41.58kmCHA and 48.51kmSHA (includes areas in the West Bank). This does not include areas “deemed essential to Israel’s security”

Cluster munition remnants


Other ERW contamination

Extent not reported

Land release in 2017


0.66kmcleared, 0.52kmcancelled. 737 antipersonnel mines and 133 antivehicle mines destroyed
IDF results are not reported

Other ERW

38 items of UXO destroyed during mine clearance.



Israel continues to make progress in clearing mines. However, it does not report on any clearance of minefields that are deemed to be essential for national security
Israel oversees clearance in the West Bank (see the Palestine profile for details)

Notes: CHA = confirmed hazardous area; SHA = suspected hazardous area; ERW = explosive remnants of war.


The exact extent of mine contamination in the State of Israel is not known. Israel has reported 41.58kmof confirmed mined area and a further 48.51kmof suspected mined area, as of the end of 2017.[1] The combined 90kmrepresents 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. It includes 18.38kmof mined area in the Jordan Valley (11.84kmof antipersonnel mined area, 6.19kmof antivehicle mined area, and 0.35kmof mixed antipersonnel and antivehicle mined area) and the West Bank[2] (see Palestine’s profile for further information).

Mine contamination (at end 2017)[3]

Type of contamination


Area (km2)


Area (km2)

AP mines only





AV mines only





AP and AV mines










Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.


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 factoborder with Syria in the Golan Heights.[4]

The 2017 estimate of 90kmfor mined areas that are not considered essential for Israel’s security is a small reduction on the 2016 estimate of 91km2.[5] The 0.66kmof mine clearance in Israel and over 0.52kmof cancellation through survey in Israel in 2017, was offset by the discovery of 1.17kmof new, previously unrecorded, mine contamination.[6]

Mine contamination in Israel impacts progress in regional development, and poses a risk to local communities.[7] In the Golan Heights the mines laid by Syrian forces remain largely unknown and areas have been fenced off by the Israel Defense Force (IDF). However, according to an online media report, fencing is not always properly maintained with warning signs, and civilians occasionally cross into minefields looking for edible plants.[8]

Program Management 

The Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA) is responsible for undertaking a “comprehensive program of mine clearing projects inside Israel.”[9]

The INMAA, which has 10 staff, was established in the Ministry of Defense, with ministry staff responsible for planning mine action.[10] The INMAA manages a “minefield information bank” that is open for public queries concerning demining plans and programs.[11]

Strategic planning 

The INMAA has a multi-year clearance plan for 2017–2020 that plans to focus on technical survey and clearance in the Golan Heights[12] in the spring/summer/autumn, and in southern Israel (the Jordan Valleyand Arava Plain) in the winter.[13]

In addition, the INMAA continues to oversee HALO Trust clearance projects in Area C of the West Bank, funded by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States (via ITF Enhancing Human Security).[14] Furthermore, at the start of 2017, the INMAA began survey of the Jordan Valley minefields in the West Bank, using national budget and operating through Israeli companies. The INMAA sees significant potential for cancellation and reduction of land in the Jordan Valley, and is using various technologies and scientific tools to measure mine drift possibilities.[15] (See the Palestine profile for further information). A number of development projects funded by local electricity, water, and infrastructure companies and authorities also pay for mine clearance.[16] The INMAA, “defines clearance policies, sets the national priorities and implements them in coordination with other relevant governmental ministries, the IDF, and local authorities.”[17] Clearance tasks are assigned according to a classification formula laid down by the INMAA, and prioritization is set nationally every three years. The criteria usedfor the formula are largely based on the risk level and development potential of the affected areas.[18] In 2016, it was reported that INMAA had 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.[19]

Legislation and standards 

The 2011 law on minefield clearance aims to “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.”[20]

The 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.”[21]

Quality management

Every mine clearance project in Israel has an INMAA supervisor, a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) contractor, and a clearance operator. Four QA/QC contractors were formally registered as of May 2018, namely: 4CI, Dexagon, Gaman, and Zeev Levanon. Of these four, 4CI and Gaman were contracted to conduct QA and QC of clearance operations in 2017.[22]


Commercial companies are contracted to conduct clearance as well as QA and QC.In 2017, clearance was contracted to four national companies: 4M, the Israeli Mine Action Group (IMAG), Maavarim, and Safeland. In addition, Ecolog conducted geomorphological and hydrological surveys in 2017, together with the INMAA, to assist with cancellation of previously flooded SHAs that could potentially contain mines.[23]

Israel uses several kinds of machines in its mine clearance operations for ground preparation, survey, and clearance. They are said to include, as and where 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.[24]

Throughout 2016 and 2017, the INMAA was supported by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) in developing its animal detection system capacity.[25] A pilot project using mine detection dogs (MDDs) was conducted in 2017,[26] but was not successful.[27] However, after investigating and conducting further research into animal detection and behavior, the INMAA plans to conduct another trial in 2019.[28]

In 2017, 106 demining personnel and 36 machines were deployed for clearance operations.[29] This is a decrease on the 130 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel and 50 machines deployed in 2016.[30]

The 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.[31] 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.[32]

In addition, the 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.[33] HALO Trust works under the auspices of both the INMAA and the Palestine Mine Action Center (PMAC), primarily with funding from international donors[34] (see the Palestine profile for further information).

Land Release 

In 2017, more than 0.66kmwas released through clearance (excluding the West Bank),[35] compared to 0.92kmof cleared in 2016.[36]

In addition, 0.52kmwas cancelled by Ecolog through non-technical survey in Zofar, in the Middle Arava area in 2017. No mined area was released by survey in 2016.[37]

(For further information on survey and clearance in the West Bank, see Palestine’s profile.)

Survey in 2017

In 2017, 0.52kmwas reported to have been cancelled through secondary non-technical survey by Ecolog, in collaboration with the INMAA, in Zofar in the middle Arava area of Israel.[38]

A further 0.85km2 was also cancelled through non-technical survey by Ecolog in 2017, in collaboration with the INMAA, in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank[39] (see Palestine profile for further information).

More than 1.17kmof new, previously unrecorded, mine contamination was discovered in 2017.[40]

Clearance in 2017 

More than 0.66kmof land was cleared in 2017 (excluding the West Bank), with the destruction of 737 antipersonnel mines, 133 antivehicle mines, and 38 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO).[41]

Mine clearance in 2017 (excluding the West Bank)[42]




Type of contamination

Areas released

Area cleared (m²)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

UXO destroyed




AP mines







AP mines







Middle Arava

Ein Yahav

AP mines







Valley of Springs

Newn Ur

AP mines







Golan Heights


AP/AV mines














The INMAA typically plans for mine clearance at a targeted rate of 1.5kmper year (including in the West Bank), based on its current budget.[43]

IDF demining is implemented independently of the INMAA, using military methods and techniques.[44] 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 2017, the IDF has made significant progress in “re-surveying mine affected areas, and in examining the possibility of area cancellation, following a completion of a fully detailed non-technical survey.”[45]

In addition, HALO Trust continued its clearance of minefields in Area C of the West Bank in 2017, working under the auspices of both the INMAA and PMAC, primarily with international funding (see Palestine’s profile for further information).

Progress towards completion

Based on the clearance rates of the last few years and the INMAA’s forecasted clearance rate of 1.5kmper year, it will take many years to clear remaining contamination.[46]

Mine clearance in 2013–2017 (excluding the West Bank)[47]


Area cleared (km2)















The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (, which has conducted the primary mine action research in 2018 and shared all its country-level landmine reports (from“Clearing the Mines 2018”) and country-level cluster munition reports (from “Clearing Cluster Munition Remnants 2018”) 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), 26 May 2018.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

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

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

[6] Ibid., 26 May 2018.

[7] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[8] “New Golan mine-clearing project to begin this summer,” The Jerusalem Post, 16 March 2017.

[9] 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 has been deleted.

[10] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 26 May 2018.

[11] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form A.

[12] The Golan Heights was unilaterally annexed by Israel in 1981. The move is not internationally recognized.

[13] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 26 May 2018.

[14] Interview with Tim Porter, Regional Director, HALO Trust, Geneva, 15 February 2018.

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

[16] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

[17] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form B.

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

[19] Ibid., 19 September 2016.

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

[21] Emails from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 6 May 2012; and from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 6 May 2012.

[22] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 26 May 2018.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid., 23 July 2017; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form C.

[25] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Reports (for 2016 and 2017), Form E.

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

[27] Ibid., 26 May 2018.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[31] Email from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2014; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form B.

[32] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form B.

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

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

[35] Email from Michael Heiman, INMAA, 26 May 2018.

[36] Ibid., 23 July 2017.

[37] Ibid., and 19 September 2016.

[38] Ibid., 26 May 2018.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid; and from Eran Yuvan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2014.

[45] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report (for 2017), Form B.

[46] Ibid.

[47] See Landmine Monitor and Mine Action Review reports on clearance in Israel covering 2013–2016.