Israel Helping Columbia Clear Out Dangerous Landmines

Israel's helping hand reaches South America. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Israel’s helping hand reaches South America. Israeli flags. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

On the other side of the world from Israel, a South American nation remains under the threat of conflicts ongoing and gone… due to landmines. The hidden explosives and other unexploded ordinance have killed over 11,000 people in the country of Columbia from 1990-2015, as the  nation has the second highest number of mine victims in the world. Israel has had their own conflicts to fight and landmines to clear, so they are working with a week of training as part of an international effort to assist Columbia in clearing their own deadly mines over five years.

The training of an eight person Columbia delegation in Israel last week was done at the invitation of the Israel’s National Mine Action Authority (INMAA) as a “tailor-made Spanish-language workshop,” according to a press release from the Israeli Ministry of Defense. 

The training wasn’t just in the classroom—the press release said that Israel conducted field activities and also took the Columbians to the Israeli mountains and the desert for “tours of current mine-clearance sites.” While Israel still faces enemies throughout their region, the Israeli military determines what landmine sites are no longer needed and INMAA works to clear out the unnecessary mines to protect civilians.

INMAA has proven that much can be done in the five years dedicated to the Columbian demining process, with the Israeli authority clearing “tens of thousands of different types of mines scattered across thousands of acres of land all throughout Israel.”

And that does more than prevent casualties—it also opens up new land for new uses. The press release said that the cleared land in Israel has been “turned into tourist parks, nature reserves, agricultural lands and more.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 18, 2016)

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