12 April 2017

As a result of numerous military operations in the last two centuries, large tracts of Israel and the Occupied Territories are contaminated with Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).

According to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), since the 2014 conflict with Israel, approximately 6,000 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO) could still be in the ground in the Gaza Strip, 16 people have been killed and 97 injured, including 48 children, due to contact with ERWs.

A puppet show was staged as part of the Mine Risk Education (MRE) programme implemented by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The programme aims to raise awareness and promote safe behaviour among students and teachers, particularly regarding ERW.

Although it has been nearly three years since the last war in the Gaza Strip, there are still so many ERWs in the ground. This consequence of war continues to affect its population, with many children among those whose lives have been permanently altered by unexploded remnants.

The clearance of the Gaza Strip will take many years, and realistically a residual level of contamination will always persist. However, through activities like the MRE programme, children of Gaza can keep playing while also learning lessons that could save their lives.

Subscribe to the ICRC newsletter