About one percent of Israel’s land contains live minefields, and in a country as small and crowded as Israel, that one percent is important; especially if the land poses an unnecessary threat to its citizens.
The Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA) was established in 2011 after the Knesset passed the Land-Mine Clearance Law. Today in Israel, there are more than 130,000 dunam of minefield and/or mine affected territories that are no longer considered essential to national security.
Under the directive of the Defense Ministry, the INMAA recently signed an agreement with a private de-mining company that will clear the first minefield in the Aravah valley, north of Eilat.
Neot HaKikar, a 240 dunam area situated south of the Dead Sea is considered a ticking bomb, with some 7,000 mines posing a threat to agriculture workers, local residents, and hikers.
Media were invited on Wednesday to view a real-time demonstration of de-mining action for the first time, in Neot HaKikar. The de-mining operation is carried out using heavy machinery brought especially from Europe to clear mines, followed by a team of trained specialists who scan the field with metal detectors, making sure nothing is left behind.
Once the fields are completely cleared of mines, they are revived as land for agriculture.