03 January 2018

Ten of the Middle East & North African countries still remain outside of the treaty

Palestine ISU

Palestinian delegate announcing the country’s decision to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty at the Sixteenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty on 21 December 2017 in Vienna, Austria ©ISU

Palestine has become the 164th State Party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, having deposited its instrument of accession at the United Nations’ headquarters on 29 December 2017. The Mine Ban Treaty will enter into force for Palestine on 1 June 2018.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines congratulates Palestine for acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty.  

“Palestine’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty is crucial for the Palestinian people. We look forward to seeing the country free from the plague of landmines soon,” said Ayman Sorour, Director of Protection. “All other states in the Middle East region should follow suit, and join the 164 nations to achieve a mine-free world by 2025.”

Palestine is affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. The Landmine Monitor has recorded 3,625 casualties to date, with 15 landmines and explosive remnants of war casualties reported in 2016, of which almost half were children.

Some 20km2 of the land of the State of Palestine is contaminated by landmines, antivehicle mines, and other explosive remnants of war. As of August 2017 nine areas, excluding Jordan Valley, were confirmed to be contaminated in the Palestinian-controlled territory and in no-man’s-land between West Bank and Israel, according to the Landmine Monitor.

With Palestine on board, nine (Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Tunisia, and Yemen) of the 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa have joined the Mine Ban Treaty. Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates in the region still remain outside of the treaty.