UN Secretary General Kofi Annan condemned Thursday Israel's use of cluster bombs in Lebanon saying, "We need to be severely careful during wars." In a press conference held by Annan in Jordan, he demanded that Israel reveal where it used them so that they may be cleared as soon as possible.
Annan said that such bombs should not have been used in populated areas. "I call for the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, which should not be used as targets," He said.
Israel's use of cluster bombs during the war has provoked no small amount of criticism. Thursday, the British newspaper, Independent, reported that an anti-cluster bomb campaign has been initiated by anti-landmine activists who are currently pressing for an international ban on using cluster bombs after the extent of the damage caused by the bombs in southern Lebanon became clear.
Anti-minefield campaigners accused the IDF of firing hundreds of cluster bombs at villages and fields in Lebanon, especially in the last three days of fighting. The bombs left behind, according to them, thousands of deadly duds in residential areas.
The Israeli government claims that it did not specifically target residential areas, and that every weapon used by the IDF is used in accordance with international law. However, campaigners are calling to forbid the use of cluster bombs under international law, claiming that the indiscriminate use of cluster bombs in populated areas is likely to contradict international law.
During his visit to Jordan, Annan added that that the time was ripe for normal relations between Israel and Lebanon following the ceasefire that ended the recent 34-day war. "This is the opportunity to move things for normal relations between Israel and Lebanon, if Resolution 1701 is implemented in its entirety," Annan said, referring to the UN Security Council resolution that ended the Israel-Hizbullah war.