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A bird's eye view of the vineyard
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Dublin Opinion >>
It's confirmed : Israel is using White Phosphorus and cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians.
anti-war / imperialism |
Wednesday July 26, 2006 21:09 by Tommy Donnellan - Cosantoiri Siochana
How the worm has obscenely turned : From Zyklon-B gas to White Phosphorus
Independent journalist Dahr Jamail, who exposed how the U.S. used white phosphorus bombs in Iraq, says Israel is using the same tactic in Lebanon - this is now confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior in Lebanon.
Also, according to Human Rights Watch, Israel has used artillery-fired cluster munitions in populated areas of Lebanon. Below are copied extracts from Dahr Jamail's Democracy Now interview (see link) and the relevant article/photos (cluster bombs) on the HRW website.
Pity the nation, pity the child
Nabatiya is the city in Southern Lebanon, which where it is suspected that this white phosphorus has been used and where it was confirmed by the Minister of the Interior
While Human Rights Watch is accusing Israel of using cluster bombs, the Lebanese president Emile Lahoud says Israel is also using white phosphorus. Lebanese doctors have reported witnessing the effects of white phosphorus on their patients.
Researchers on the ground in Lebanon confirmed that a cluster munitions attack on the village of Blida on July 19 killed one and wounded at least 12 civilians, including seven children. Human Rights Watch researchers also photographed cluster munitions in the arsenal of Israeli artillery teams on the Israel-Lebanon border.
According to eyewitnesses and survivors of the attack interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Israel fired several artillery-fired cluster munitions at Blida around 3 p.m. on July 19. The witnesses described how the artillery shells dropped hundreds of cluster submunitions on the village. They clearly described the submunitions as smaller projectiles that emerged from their larger shells.
Human Rights Watch researchers photographed artillery-delivered cluster munitions among the arsenal of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) artillery teams stationed on the Israeli-Lebanese border during a research visit on July 23. The photographs show M483A1 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions, which are U.S.-produced and -supplied, artillery-delivered cluster munitions. The photographs contain the distinctive marks of such cluster munitions, including a diamond-shaped stamp, and a shape that is longer than ordinary artillery, according to a retired IDF commander who asked not to be identified. The M483A1 artillery shells deliver 88 cluster submunitions per shell, and have an unacceptably high failure rate (dud rate) of 14 percent, leaving behind a serious unexploded ordnance problem that will further endanger civilians. The commander said that the IDF’s operations manual warns soldiers that the use of such cluster munitions creates dangerous minefields due to the high dud rate.
Lebanese security forces, who to date have not engaged in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, also accused Israel of using cluster munitions in its attacks on Blida and other Lebanese border villages. These sources also indicated they have evidence that Israel used cluster munitions earlier this year during fighting with Hezbollah around the contested Shebaa Farms area.
Human Rights Watch is continuing to investigate these additional allegations.
There is growing international momentum to stop the use of cluster munitions. Belgium became the first country to ban cluster munitions in February 2006, and Norway announced a moratorium on the weapon in June 2006. Cluster munitions are increasingly the focus of discussion at the meetings of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, with ever more states calling for a new international instrument dealing with cluster munitions.
Pallets of 155mm artillery projectiles including DPICM cluster munitions (center and right with yellow diamonds) in the arsenal of an IDF artillery unit on July 23 in northern Israel. Each DPICM shell contains 88 sub-munitions, which have a dud rate of up
Close-up of a M483A1 DPICM artillery-delivered cluster munition present in the arsenal of an IDF unit in northern Israel.