New Zealand's lifesaving aid to Palestine dries up

New Zealand has contributed millions of dollars towards clearing mine fields in Palestine, but the money has just dried up.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the scars of war are everywhere. It's been three-and-a-half years since the last war in Gaza in 2014, but the situation is still highly volatile.

The part of the strip closest to Israel isn't considered worth reconstructing because of the threat of further destruction, and even in homes that have been rebuilt families live with the expectation their houses will come down again.

"Because we are living in Gaza and we expect it any time... this house will be destroyed, the war will come back," says Mohammed Al Sirsik.

He was in his bedroom with his five sons when a bomb came through the ceiling in the last war. Remarkably, they survived, but had to live and sleep with a 130kg explosive rocket embedded in the floor.

"Even if the guns have stopped shooting, and the bombs have stopped dropping you still have a very real physical memory of the conflict. It's very difficult for communities to move on from that," says Sasha Logie of the UN Mine Action Service.

It's cleared 149 large aerial bombs from Gaza since 2014. New Zealand's contributed money to Mine Action, but none went to Gaza - it all went to the West Bank.

The problems there are different, but just as deadly. Jordanian mine fields from before the 1967 Six-Day War still remain.

HALO, the mine clearance trust once made famous by Princess Diana, started its West Bank work clearing the a-Nabi Elyus minefield.

Landowner Rafe Qatesh says he was so desperate to use his land that despite the mines, he started clearing it himself.

"Before the clearance, all the people were afraid to enter this land and nobody can touch," says Mr Qatesh.

New Zealand contributed more than $3 million to HALO in the West Bank. Of the total mines found at a-Nabi Elyus, 23 anti-tank and 107 antipersonnel mines were found on New Zealand's dime.

New Zealand didn't just come through with cash - but diplomatic muscle too.

A problem that arose after the mine clearance was an Israeli bypass that was built using 1000 square metres of a minefield.

New Zealand was one of the countries that expressed its disappointment in Israel and put pressure on its government to limit the land used.

But as of February, New Zealand's money - and diplomacy - dried up.

HALO Trust programme manager Ronen Shimoni says any donors would be welcome and is hopeful New Zealand can contribute again, to help create normality and safety for people stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of violence and war.