HALO commences mine clearance in West Bank

The HALO Trust has commenced mine clearance in the West Bank - the first and only NGO to conduct mine clearance with support from both the Israeli and Palestinian mine-action authorities.

HALO’s first clearance task is a minefield laid in 1965 by the Jordanian military, approximately 200 metres from the village of a-Nabi Elyas in Qalqiliya District.  The minefield has historically caused accidents to civilians from the local community and blocked access to fertile agricultural land.  Once cleared, the land will return to its Palestinian owners and will once again be used to grow olive trees and other valuable cash crops for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Experienced manual deminers from HALO’s programme in Georgia travelled to the West Bank to work alongside Palestinian machine operators responsible for the specialist armoured plant required for the technically-challenging mine clearance at a-Nabi Elyas.

The HALO Trust is grateful for the commitment and backing given by the mine-affected communities in the West Bank, and the Israeli and Palestinian mine-action authorities; all of whom have encouraged and enabled this unique project.

HALO would also like to offer thanks to its donors: the US State Department for its close involvement in establishing this sensitive and politically complex project, with further generous funding donated by the Governments of New Zealand, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and private donors.