Roots of Peace, a San Rafael–based nonprofit that has helped get land mines removed in several countries around the world, has launched a capital campaign to raise money for a pilot land-mine-removal program in Israel and the West Bank.
For decades, many Israelis and Palestinians have been unaware that thousands of acres where they live are rendered unusable and dangerous due to land-mine contamination. After some tragedies in the past few years and a civil campaign in part bolstered by Roots of Peace, the problem finally came to light.
Last year, Israel passed the Minefield Clearance Act, mandating the clearance of more than 1 million land mines in Israel and the West Bank.
Roots of Peace has worked to remove land mines in countries such as Angola, Cambodia, Croatia, Vietnam and Afghanistan; the agency then helps the local communities build sustainable crops on those once-dangerous lands.
Now, serving as a broker between Israelis and Palestinians, Roots of Peace will help kick off a pilot project to remove land mines in Husan, a village near Bethlehem, and in nearby fields in the West Bank.
The current campaign seeks to raise $275,000 for this project. For more information or to donate, visit www.rootsofpeace.org or call the Roots of Peace headquarters at (415) 455-8008.