Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 15 October 2020


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

As a State Party, Palestine submitted its initial Article 7 report in November 2018, which stated that Palestine was working to pass a draft law to implement the treaty, though it did not provide any details on whether such a law has been introduced in the Legislative Council.[2] Palestine submitted a second Article 7 report in April 2019.[3]

Previously, in September 2012, Palestine submitted a voluntary Article 7 report. The report stated 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 regard 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 activities in the West Bank.[4] The PMAC was established in April 2012.[5] Palestine submitted an additional voluntary Article 7 report in 2013.

Palestine did not attend the convention’s Fourth Review Conference in Oslo in November 2019.

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

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.[6]

In its 2012 voluntary Article 7 report, Palestine stated that it does not possess a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, would not retain any mines for training purposes, and would only transfer mines for destruction. The report also stated that Palestine has never had production facilities for antipersonnel landmines. The report listed mined areas and provided information on the status of Palestine’s risk education and victim assistance programs.[7]

Clearance efforts in Palestine are ongoing. In May 2016, the HALO Trust began clearing landmines around Christian holy sites in the West Bank.[8]

In February 2012, the Israeli armed forces 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 had been cleared of mines by the Palestinian Authority more than 20 years previously, adding that the mines had initially been laid by the Israeli army when the area was used for military training.[9]

In June 2012, the United Nations conducted training on 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.[10]

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.[11]

[1] State of Palestine, Instrument of Accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, Depository Notification, United Nations, 29 December 2017.

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

[6] 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.

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

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

[11] 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 populations into territories occupied during a war.