Group launches campaign to clear minefields in Bethlehem

Roots of Peace representatives talk to reporters about a campaign to clear landmines in Husan village near Bethlehem on Jan. 7
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A US-based organization Roots of Peace on Friday launched a campaign to clear mines from fields near Bethlehem.

The initiative was announced at a press conference in Husan village, west of Bethlehem, where a 1.5-acre minefield has claimed four lives and injured 10 people since 1967.

The area was partially cleared by Israeli authorities in 1985, when Israel built a road through the land to connect the Jewish settlement Betar Illit to Jerusalem.

Roots of Peace founder Heidi Kuhn joined Palestinian Authority representatives, and Islamic and Christian clerics in Husan village for the campaign launch, which coincided with the Christian celebration of Epiphany and the Orthodox Christmas Eve.

The organization plans a large-scale campaign to remove 1.5 million landmines and unexploded ordnance from the West Bank, a statement said.

( / 07.01.2012)

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