ATLANTA — The Israeli National Mine Action Authority (INMAA) is clearing hundreds of acres along its southern borders with Jordan and Egypt of anti-personnel mines “no longer considered essential to Israel’s national security,” the Israeli Defense Ministry announced Aug. 12.
According to the statement, some 30,000 mines are being cleared along border areas of the Arava Desert flatlands surrounding the Red Sea port town of Eilat for improved public safety and commercial development.
MoD announced that INMAA recently cleared more than 100 acres of mines placed during the 1960s and 1970s by the Israeli and Egyptian militaries. Additionally, the MoD-managed authority cleared some 80 acres of about 6,000 anti-personnel mines in the area south of the Dead Sea, near the Jordanian border.
Future plans call for demining areas near its northern border with Syria in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights. Once cleared, minefields in the Golan Heights will be converted into nature reserves, farmland and areas earmarked for residential development, according to MoD.
Ervin Lavie, INMAA director, said that since the authority was established in 2011, MoD has demined more than 500 acres throughout the country.