Friday, February 01, 2008

Winograd report on cluster bombs

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Israeli War Probe Urges Army To Reconsider Rules For Dropping Cluster Bombs: "The 629-page report devoted six pages to cluster bombs, which open in flight and scatter dozens of bomblets over wide areas. The United Nations and human rights groups have accused Israel of dropping about 4 million cluster bomblets during the campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas. Up to 1 million failed to explode and now endanger civilians, according to U.N. demining experts.

"In its report, the commission said Israel did not violate international law by dropping cluster bombs. But it raised questions about the army's use of the weapons, noting a lack of 'operational discipline, oversight and control.'

"'We recommend that on this matter there be a re-evaluation of the rules and principles that apply to the army in using cluster bombs,' the report said.

"It urged the army to work to limit harm to civilians, including ensuring that people aren't hurt by unexploded bomblets, and to clarify the conditions when firing is permitted. It called on the army to develop less dangerous bombs and better document the whereabouts of unexploded bombs.

"According to U.N. monitors in Lebanon, 26 civilians have been killed in explosions in southern Lebanon since the war ended in August 2006, most of them from cluster bombs and a few from other leftover explosives.""

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