Nazareth – The Israeli air force dropped more than 1.2 million American-made cluster bombs on Lebanon during Israel’s recent war waged on that Arab country for almost two months last summer, a Hebrew paper reported.
Ha’aretz quoted official sources as saying that the American army had used the same type of bombs during its invasion of Iraq three years ago.
However, a spokeswoman for the Israeli army refused to determine the type of weapons used in the war on Lebanon "for security reasons".
Thomas Nash, the coordinator at Cluster Munitions Coalition, wrote in an article published in "The Independent" two months ago:
"The use of cluster munitions in Lebanon was an outrage. It was known before they were used that they would kill and injure civilians in populated areas because of their inaccurate dispersal pattern. It was known that cluster munitions would leave hundreds of their sub munitions unexploded to terrorize civilians returning to rebuild their lives.
With a ceasefire in sight, Israel launched millions of cluster bomblets throughout towns and villages in the last 72 hours of the war. The mounting toll of civilian deaths and injuries and the deadly unexploded ordnance contamination that will blight Lebanon for years to come were all predictable, foreseeable and preventable.
Most of the sub munitions used in Lebanon look like torch batteries with ribbons and others look like tennis balls. They are a deadly attraction for children who make up about 30 per cent of the casualties."