The International Campaign To Ban Landmines has 164 countries that are parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
Countries that are not signatories include some of the largest and most powerful nations in the world, including the United States, Russia, China, and India.
Are you surprised to hear that?
Certainly, I think many, if not most of us, would say it is a righteous cause to ban landmines in order to protect innocent people from these dangerous weapons that often stay around long after a conflict has ended.
Yet these weapons are still all over the world and doing plenty of harm.
According to CARE (2003), there are 110,000,000 active landmines, and another 250,000,000 stockpiled in over 108 countries.
The UNICEF website states that there still are 15,000 to 20,000 people around the world that are injured or killed by landmines each year, and CBC News reported that death and injuries from landmines and IEDs hit a worldwide high in 2015.
There are two major types of landmines: one is anti-vehicle (e.g., anti-tank) and the other is anti-personnel.
I read that there are also anti-helicopter mines and even “nuclear landmines,” which are tactical (smaller) nuclear weapons to clear the battlefield, for example, in a doomsday scenario to stop an advancing army in its tracks.
Of course, it is preferable not to use landmines, which are devices that are triggered independently and can cause not only military casualties but also that of innocent civilians.
However, I can think of a case these days for Israel to consider the use of landmines.
Every day, the terrorists numbering as many as tens of thousands are mounting attacks on the Gaza border of Israel.
Note, Israel unilaterally disengaged from Gaza and gave it to the Palestinians in 2005 in an effort to make peace.
Yet, the terrorist organization, Hamas, soon took over Gaza in 2007.
Since then, the Palestinians from Gaza have perpetrated endless attacks against Israel from shooting barrages of hundreds and thousands of missiles; constructing scores of terror tunnels to infiltrate, attack, kidnap, and kill Israelis; sending arson kites and balloons to burn tens of thousands of acres of Israel already, and trying to overrun Israel’s border fence to rampage into a sovereign country to murder Israelis.
While the IDF tries to warn the terrorists to stay away from the border and not attack us, Hamas leadership has affirmed that they will not cease their attacks that have been ongoing since March “until the border is erased” (i.e., until Israel and all its Jews are eradicated).
In this case, where there is literally the persistent threat to a sovereign country’s border, where the enemy refuses to be deterred and threatens literally the genocide of its occupants and citizens, I think a legitimate case could be made for mining the border.
Every time, Israel tries to stop the attacks, even with maximum restraint, they are nevertheless vilified by the UNjust United Nations, stacked with anti-Semites that make resolution after resolution against them and ignoring the terrorists that are attacking them.
It is time for Israel to earnestly defend its Gaza border to protect its citizens from the daily attacks. Having to defend against each and every terrorist coming from a territory (Gaza) literally run by terrorists (Hamas), creates a situation where the haters of Israel blame and attack Israel in an endless cycle for every act of self-defense.
Therefore, mining the border with plenty of warnings, signage, and fences to keep civilians away is something that needs to be explored. Anyone then entering the duly mined border is there for only one reason, to commit terrorism and is a legitimate target.
Unfortunately, since its founding in 1948, the modern State of Israel has been surrounded and repeatedly attacked by its neighbors. As others have notably pointed out, Israel has not been given the opportunity of having a bounty of nice, peaceful neighbors, like the US has with Canada and Mexico.
If ever there was a case for landmines, stopping rampaging terrorist hordes from overrunning their sovereign nation’s borders with the explicit reason to attack and kill its citizens without end, then this is it.
Israel, like every other nation in the world, has a right to peace and security for its people. While landmines are not the option of first resort, in this case, it may be the option of last resort to protect the lives of its own citizens, first and foremost.