Photo: AP
Southern Lebanon
Photo: AP

Report: US probing Israel use of cluster bombs

Report: US probing Israel use of cluster bombs

The US State Department is probing whether Israel's use of US-made cluster bombs in southern Lebanon violates secret agreements signed between the two countries, the New York Times reported on Friday.


The newspaper said the inquiry was launched after the State Department received reports that three types American anti-personnel cluster bombs were used in Lebanon and were responsible for civilian injuries.


"We have heard the allegations that these munitions were used, and we are seeking more information," said Gonzalo Gallegos, a State Department spokesperson.


State Department officials doubted sanctions will be imposed on Israel but said the probe might ease criticism by Arab states and commentators over the Bush administration's support for Israel's military actions in southern Lebanon.


The inquiry is likely to focus whether Israel properly informed the United States about its use of the bombs and whether they were strictly against military targets.


Information of about the use of the bombs is limited to report issued by United Nations and NGO aid workers operating in southern Lebanon.


“We have not been informed about any such inquiry, and when we are we would be happy to respond,” David Siegel, a spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said.


Agreements governing Israel's use of cluster bombs stipulates that they'd be used against organized Arab armies.


Israel said that it used the bombs in open areas used by Hizbullah to launch rockets.

A Congressional investigation of Israel's use of cluster bombs during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon found that the IDF used them in civilian areas. The Regan administration subsequently imposed a 6-year ban on the sale of cluster bombs to Israel.


פרסום ראשון: 08.25.06, 08:02
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