Monday, February 18, 2008

Ban The Bomb!

Representatives from 100-nations are meeting today in Wellington, New Zealand to discuss the final issues leading to an international treaty to ban the production, sale and use of cluster bombs.

At the same time the New York based Human Rights Watch has released a report estimating the number of cluster bomblets Israel fired into Lebanon in 2006 at 4.6-million. From the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office:

"HRW’s estimate - an increase on the UN figure of about 4 million - is based on information gathered from Israeli soldiers who re-supplied Multiple Launch Rocket System units with cluster bombs during the July-August 2006. The number is more than were used in recent conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq combined, it said.

"Israel fired cluster bombs, either US-supplied or manufactured in Israel, on nearly 1,000 individual strike sites across 1,400sqkm of southern Lebanon, an area slightly larger than the US state of Rhode Island.

"Each cluster bomb can release up to 2,000 bomblets, and about a quarter of the bomblets failed to explode on impact in Lebanon. Since the war, unexploded bomblets have killed at least 30 people and injured some 200 others."

Human Rights Watch also reports that Hezbollah fired some cluster weapons into Israel during the conflict. How many is unclear.

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