Israel to remove all land mines

Wednesday, February 02, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

The Defense Committee of the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday approved a new bill aimed at removing all land mines from inside Israel’s borders. The bill already has the signatures of 70 out of 120 lawmakers, meaning it is guaranteed to pass when it comes before the plenum for a vote.

Over the years, a number of Israelis have been badly injured by old land mines in areas that were not adequately marked. One of those victims, 12-year-old Daniel Yuval, was present at Tuesday’s Knesset meeting. Yuval lost one of his legs in a land mine explosion last year while playing with his sister near their home in the Golan Heights.

Thousands of land mines, planted both by Israel and its enemies, remain in border regions like the Golan. Some are still there because they continue to provide a defensive barrier, and some remain because Israel does not know the exact locations of enemy mines.

Those mines planted by Israel are no longer seen as a primary defense measure with the current reliance on air power, and so there is little objection to removing them.

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