Thursday, May 14, 2009

Israel surrenders cluster bomb maps after years

Israel yields to UN and Lebanese demands that it hands over data on the cluster bomb operations it conducted in Lebanon in 2006.

The United Nations peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, known as the UNIFIL, revealed Tuesday that Israel has handed over technical strike data and maps that detail its use of cluster munitions in its most recent war on Lebanon.

Israeli warplanes had dropped most of the cluster bombs in the last 72 hours of the 33-day war when Tel Aviv had lost all hopes of winning the war and the Hezbollah movement rendered Israel unable to take control of the country.

While the Israeli retreat from Lebanon returned relative calm to the country, the dormant cluster bombs continue to plague Lebanon by killing innocent civilians and leaving others amputated.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has repeatedly condemned Tel Aviv over its refusal to reveal where it dropped cluster bombs. He insists that Israel was duty-bound to have immediately provided the UN and Lebanese authorities with the maps.

The UN Human Rights Watch has blasted the Israeli conduct as a violation of international humanitarian law through its 'indiscriminate and disproportionate' use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.

According to the UN, Israel dropped about 4 million cluster bomblets during the month-long war, up to 1 million of which failed to explode and can detonate at the slightest disturbance.

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