Landmines in the West Bank date back to the Six Day Arab-Israeli war in the late 1960s, when dense minefields were laid throughout the highlands and in the Jordan Valley. Since then, mines have been a constant danger for families in the region, particularly farmers like Kayyed who owns an olive grove.
Kayyed, farmer, West Bank
HALO has been working with the Israeli National Mine Action Authority and the Palestinian Mine Action Centre to clear landmines in the West Bank since 2014. During this time, we have built trust across religious and cultural divides and cleared many minefields, enabling families to return and farmers to cultivate their land once more. One of the largest minefields we have cleared is at the site of the Baptism of Christ, known as Qaser al-Yahud, on the banks of the River Jordan, where landmines have prevented pilgrims from visiting eight sacred churches and monasteries for over 50 years.
Having gained the approval of the Israelis, Palestinians and all the churches, to clear the Baptism Site, we began work to make this very special place safe, so the churches can become places of worship once again.