[News] Cluster bombs in Lebanon

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 31 11:28:24 EDT 2006



This is really outrageous and probably is one of 
the most evil things Israel has permitted itself 
to carry out. The cluster bombs they used have 
left 100,000 unexploded bombs all over Lebanon 
creating a gigantic mine field. The most 
disturbing thing was that 90% of these bombs were 
dropped in the last 72-hours of the conflict when 
it was clear that a cease-fire was eminent.


<http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1861606,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1>http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1861606,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1

Cluster bombing of Lebanon 'immoral' UN official tells Israel

· Humanitarian chief says civilians are killed daily
· Annan urges Olmert to end Gaza blockade

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem
Thursday August 31, 2006
<http://www.guardian.co.uk>The Guardian

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Frank Masche, from the Mine Advisory Group (MAG) 
investigates an unexploded Israeli cluster 
bomblet found in Tibnin, southern Lebanon. Photo: Sergey Ponomarev/AP


Israel faced a stinging rebuke from the UN 
yesterday when the world body's humanitarian 
chief expressed shock at the "completely immoral" 
use of cluster bombs in Lebanon and Kofi Annan 
called for a rapid end to the conflict in Gaza.

Jan Egeland said civilians were facing "massive 
problems" returning home because of as many as 
100,000 unexploded cluster bombs, most of which 
were dropped in the last days of the war.

"What's shocking - and I would say to me 
completely immoral - is that 90% of the cluster 
bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the 
conflict, when we knew there would be a 
resolution," Mr Egeland said. "Every day people 
are maimed, wounded and are killed by these ordnance."

Earlier, the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, 
called on Israel to end its closure of the Gaza 
Strip and to halt the fighting that has claimed 
the lives of more than 200 Palestinians in the past two months.

Yesterday Israeli troops killed eight 
Palestinians in air strikes and gun battles 
around the Shijaiyeh neighbourhood of Gaza City. 
One of the dead was a 14-year-old boy who was in 
a crowd watching the fighting. At least two 
others were militants, doctors said. The Israeli 
army said it found a large tunnel for smuggling 
that ran 150 metres towards a cargo crossing.

Israel's military incursions into Gaza have been 
overshadowed by the conflict in Lebanon. But 
Palestinian officials say more than half of those 
killed in the past two months have been civilians 
- among them 39 children killed in July alone.

"Over 200 Palestinians have been killed since the 
end of June. This must stop immediately," Mr 
Annan said, after meeting Palestinian officials 
in the occupied West Bank. "I have made my 
feelings known in talks with Israeli officials. 
Beyond preserving life, we have to sustain life, 
the closure of Gaza must be lifted, the crossing 
points must be opened, not just to allow goods 
but to allow Palestinian exports out as well."

Crossing points into Gaza for cargo and 
pedestrians have been closed for long periods in 
recent months because of what the Israelis say 
are security concerns. Israel has defended its 
military operations in Gaza, saying it is trying 
to find a captured Israeli soldier and stop 
militants firing rockets into Israel.

Mr Annan's visit was also intended to reinforce 
the ceasefire that ended 34 days of conflict 
between Israel and Hizbullah. Yesterday, after 
meeting Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, he 
called on the Israeli government to end its air 
and sea blockade of Lebanon, which he said the 
Lebanese regarded as a "humiliation" and an 
"infringement of their sovereignty".

But Mr Olmert said Israel would not lift the 
blockade or withdraw its soldiers, who are still 
deployed in their thousands in southern Lebanon, 
until the UN ceasefire was fully implemented. A 
total of 15,000 Lebanese army soldiers and 
another 15,000 international troops are due to 
take up positions in southern Lebanon in the 
coming weeks as part of the agreement. In the 
meantime, Israel says it wants to stop Hizbullah rearming in the south.

Mr Olmert said he hoped the ceasefire agreement 
might be the "cornerstone" of a new relationship 
between Israel and Lebanon. But the Lebanese 
prime minister, Fouad Siniora, said Lebanon "will 
be the last Arab country that could sign a peace agreement with Israel".

Negotiations appear to be under way to secure the 
release of two Israeli soldiers whose capture on 
July 12 triggered the Lebanon war. Mr Annan said 
he believed the two were alive, although he did 
not know what condition they were in.

In Beirut yesterday Muhammad Fneish, one of two 
Hizbullah ministers in the Lebanese cabinet, said 
the soldiers would only be freed in a prisoner 
exchange. "There should be an exchange through indirect negotiations," he said.


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====================================================

Amnesty International Report Explores "Israeli 
Attacks on Civilian Infrastructure"


Washington, DC | August 23, 2006 | Amnesty 
International today released a report entitled, 
"Deliberate Destruction or "Collateral Damage"? 
Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure". 
Amnesty International’s report documents the 
disproportionate use of Israeli military force 
against the civilian population and 
infrastructure of Lebanon during its recent conflict.

Over one thousand Lebanese people were killed by 
Israeli ground, air and naval attacks and another 
4000 people were injured. During the bombardment 
a quarter of the country’s population was 
displaced as they fled for safety from the 
Israeli attacks. The human rights group 
determined that Israel deliberately targeted 
civilians and civilian infrastructure, which as 
detailed in the report, amounted to war crimes in some instances.

Amnesty’s report concludes by calling on the 
United Nations to establish an independent and 
impartial inquiry into the human rights 
violations that occurred during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

Hon. Mary Rose Oakar, President of the 
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) 
said, "This report is thorough, insightful and 
well documented. It is a continuing example of 
Amnesty International's work as a leader on 
documenting and advocating against human rights violations across the world."

<http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde180072006>Click 
here to read the report.




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