The global mine action community was celebrating for a special reason this New Years, after Palestine became the 164th State Party to the Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. Palestine officially deposited its instrument of ratification on December 29, 2017, joining several other Middle Eastern states, including Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, as parties to the treaty.
There are roughly 2o square kilometres of mine-contaminated land inside the contested borders of the Palestinian territories. Palestinian representatives have occasionally attended Ottawa Treaty meetings, and in 2012 submitted a voluntary Article 7 report disclosing that the Palistinian authority did not possess landmines, and listing the mined areas within Palestinian territory.
The treaty will enter into force in Palestine on June 1, 2018.