The Knesset’s Defense Committee gave its approval to a law to de-mine Israel on Tuesday. More than 70 MKs have already signed the bill, making it virtually guaranteed to pass when it comes to the Knesset for a vote.
Present at Tuesday’s meeting was Daniel Yuval, a child mine victim turned activist whose public appeals to remove land mines led to proposed bill.
MK Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima), who proposed the bill, said at the meeting that de-mining Israel would improve Israel’s image, but more important, “This is necessary in order to avoid tragic incidents like that which caused Daniel’s injury.”
Daniel, 12, was badly injured by a land mine one year ago when he was playing with his siblings in the Golan. Daniel’s family says the area in which they were playing had not been marked as a closed military zone, a claim the IDF has disputed.
As a result of the blast Daniel lost one leg. His older sister suffered facial injuries.
In March 2010, Daniel was already in the Knesset, campaigning to clean up landmines. He has been named the Youth Ambassador for the Campaign for a Mine-Free Israel. In November, he addressed an international committee on the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva.
He has been joined by Jerry White, a longtime anti-mine activist who was seriously injured by a mine in 1984 while hiking with friends in northern Israel.
There are an estimated 500,000 to one million mines in Israel, including in Judea and Samaria. The IDF has marked mine fields, but the mines still sometimes lead to injury.
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