UN Denounces Israeli Use of Cluster Bombs

September 3, 2006

On August 30, the United Nations humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, stated that Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon was "shocking" and "completely immoral."

Cluster bombs, which break into hundreds and thousands of smaller bombs, are "anti-personnel" weapons used to target civilian populations.

Speaking at a news conference, Egeland said: "What's shocking and completely immoral is: 90% of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution."

He then added: "Cluster bombs have affected large areas - lots of homes, lots of farmland. They will be with us for many months, possibly years. "Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons. It shouldn't have happened."

According to the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center, which has so far assessed 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon, nearly 400 sites are contaminated with as many as 100,000 unexploded bomblets. Approximately 250,000 Lebanese, of the 1 million displaced, cannot move back into their homes, many because of unexploded munitions.

Israel's cluster bombs were provided by the U.S. government.