imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Landmines: Palestine's hidden danger

by by Laila El-Haddad in Gaza Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 at 11:57 AM

Mine warning in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip All over Gaza, large well-illustrated billboards sporting the UNICEF logo can be seen alongside major streets and busy intersections.

Mine warning in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip





All over Gaza, large well-illustrated billboards sporting the UNICEF logo can be seen alongside major streets and busy intersections.





They show photos of Israeli-made bombs and mines and carry a single in-your-face message: “Landmines and suspicious objects are a danger that threatens us all! Do not try to get near them!”



While landmines usually invoke images of places like once war-torn Angola or Afghanistan, the issue is gaining increasing prominence in the occupied Palestinian territories.



UNICEF representatives say the occupied West Bank and Gaza are littered with landmines dating back to the 1967 invasion.



Most of the declared minefields lie on the Jordanian-West Bank border, as well as in the Jordan Valley-areas that Israel considers strategic lines of defence.



No minefields have been officially declared in the Gaza Strip, but Ayid Abu Qtaish, mine awareness coordinator of Defence for Children International, Palestine Section (DCI), has no doubt the overpopulated strip of land is chock-full of them.



“If there are minefields on the border between Jordan and the West Bank as a defensive measure, by extension there must be landmines between Egypt and Gaza, and throughout the Gaza Strip.”



Increasing danger



Landmines were not considered a serious threat in the West Bank and Gaza until recently, when medical personnel and aid workers began to notice a sudden upsurge in mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) fatalities and causalities.





At least 23 children have been killed by landmines or UXO planted by the Israeli military in the occupied Palestinian territories since the start of the Intifada in September 2000.



In 2002, DCI documented 57 landmine and UXO casualties, including 13 deaths, 11 of them children; 31 of these casualties occurred in the period during and following Israeli military operations in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002.



A UNICEF assessment of the landmine and UXO situation concluded that most affected areas are not properly marked, or not marked at all. This includes Israeli military training zones, many of which are located near populated urban areas.



The problem, however, extends beyond such military zones and declared sites according to UNICEF spokesperson Monica Awad.



“[It] reaches areas of confrontation between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, where many exploding objects are left behind. Areas of confrontation like Jenin are left littered with Israeli and Palestinian unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.”



In March of 2002, a Palestinian woman and four children died in an explosion near the Gaza refugee camp of al-Buraij when the donkey cart they were riding on detonated a landmine left behind by withdrawing Israeli occupation forces.



In the West Bank, local residents on both the Dair Abu Dayyaf checkpoint and the Zurdah checkpoint in al-Birah have discovered several mines. Hundreds of Palestinian commuters on a daily basis use both crossings.



Innocent victims



Children are the most common victims of landmine and UXO blasts. They are often not aware of the dangers of landmines and UXOs and are usually killed as a result of getting close to or playing with the suspicious objects or landmines.





According to the DCI, the suspicious objects are often unexploded shells and bombs fired by the Israeli forces.



Early last year in the Gaza Strip, five Palestinian children were killed when they stepped on a booby-trapped landmine. They were on their way to school in the Khan Yunis refugee camp.







Israeli officials said the booby trap was intended to prevent Palestinians from infiltrating into a neighbouring Jewish settlement.



“The problem has escalated, now it’s not only in military zones but in all Palestinian areas. We never imagined in Ram Allah there would be an explosion of unexploded munitions,” said Abu Qtaish.



He was referring to an incident near Bir al-Jadida school in Ram Allah, where three children were killed and five others injured after stepping on a UXO.



Landmine Ban



The use of landmines as a weapon has been discouraged globally because of the indiscriminate nature of the way they operate.



According to the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL), “antipersonnel mines cannot distinguish between the footfall of a soldier and that of a child. They recognize no cease-fire and long after the fighting has stopped they continue to maim or kill.”



“The best choice for us in Palestinian is awareness since there are Israeli restrictions on removal of landmines”



Israel has abstained from voting on every annual pro-landmine ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996.



It has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty, which prohibits not only antipersonnel mines, but also explosive booby-traps and other improvised explosive devices (IED) that are victim activated.



Israeli Foreign Ministry officials say the state is not in a position to separate its landmine policy from other regional security considerations.



However, many, like Abu Qtaish, are not convinced.



“The landmines they have planted have absolutely no military or security necessity… its for safety not security reasons that they keep them there-most of them are old and their removal is dangerous,” he said.



Obstacles



Three different methods are commonly employed to deal with the landmine problem worldwide, including clearance, survival assistance and risk-education. Usually, a combination of all three methods is used to combat the problem.







In Palestine, however, the political situation renders all but one impractical.



“The best choice for us in Palestinian is awareness since there are Israeli restrictions on removal of landmines,” said Abu Qtaish.



A Canadian initiative to de-mine the village of Husan near Bethlehem, for example, was stopped short due to an Israeli ban on the import of mine-cleaning materials and restrictions on the method of clearing.







In February 2003, Israel commented for the first time on the scope of this stockpile destruction effort, saying 12 tonnes of mines were destroyed by the military in 2002.



Abu Qtaish says this, however, is not enough.



“Practically speaking there has been no mine clearing. [T]here is a big difference between clearing minefields for military purposes and clearing them for humanitarian purposes. In the latter case, the number of mines must be zero,” he said.



According to Abu Qtaish, the Israeli military declared the village of Husan in the West Bank a mine-free zone early last year. Following the announcement, three people from the village died when a mine exploded under them, prompting DCI and others to pursue the de-mining endeavour.



Awareness campaign



In August 2002, a National Mine Action Committee was created consisting of UNICEF, UNRWA, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, Defence for Children International in Palestine, and the Palestinian Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports, Interior, and Health.



Some 1 million Palestinian children have been educated on landmine awareness.





In the absence of other alternatives, such as speaking with Israeli forces about de-mining areas of land near civilian populations, the organisations are doing what they can to make sure the problem does not get out of hand.



Mainly they are educating the population on the risks of mines. Their target population has been children.







UNICEF says so far, the initiative has been successful - the children are responding well and beginning to understand the dangers involved in playing with UXO and landmines.



“We were able to reach at least one million Palestinian children with key messages on UXO/landmine prevention,” said Awad.



“We need to find alternatives for kids,” added Mahmud al-Kurdi of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza.



“Right now they are playing in the streets, they see something that looks interesting to play with, they pick it up, or prod at it, and throw stones at it, and it explodes.”



“It’s not just a matter of putting posters up on the streets.”





Aljazeera


By Laila El-Haddad in Gaza

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy