Friday, January 27, 2012

Group says Israel must remove West Bank landmines

An ordinance expert pictured searching for mines.(MaanImages/file)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The founder of humanitarian organization Roots of Peace said Friday that the group have demanded that Israel works to remove landmines from the Palestinian territories.

Heidi Kühn told Voice of Palestine radio that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would help to remove mines in the West Bank if the organization assisted with mine removal within Israel.

Kühn met with the Israel's Prime Minister on Jan. 23, telling him that "the Holy Land is not ‘holy’ when there are landmines in the ground."

Around 1.5 million landmines and unexploded ordinances prevent access to more than 50,000 acres of productive land in Israel, the West Bank and the Jordan River valley, Roots of Peace says.

The Israeli-Jordanian border areas and the Jordan Valley are still heavily land-mined, together with areas of the Golan Heights and the northern West Bank.

The mines no longer serve any military purpose.

Maan News Agency