When the United Nations Mine Action Service was asked to assess the need for a mine-action presence in the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead, a 23-day conflict involving the Israeli Defence Forces and Palestinian militias in 2008, it was thrust into one of the world’s most complicated humanitarian operating environments. This article provides a background for the mine-action program in Gaza, summarizing the key challenges and lessons learned during the first four months of operations in this complex environment.



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