vendredi 3 août 2007

Israel delays release of report on cluster bombs

The Israeli Army said on Thursday it was delaying the release of an internal report on its use of cluster bombs during last year's summer war in Lebanon. "The investigation of cluster bomb usage was thorough and involved many different sections ... Due to the sensitivity of the matter, the process of submission was prolonged," a statement said.

"Furthermore, the investigating officer was asked to add several elements to the investigation, which further delayed the submission of the final conclusions," it added. An army spokeswoman said, nevertheless, that the probe "was in its final stages."

UN officials have said that as many as 4 million cluster bomblets were dropped by Israel during its devastating air war against Lebanon in the summer 2006 war, and many of the munitions failed to detonate on impact. The United Nations' humanitarian chief denounced the use of the weapons in civilian areas across South Lebanon as "completely immoral."

More than 30 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded by Israeli cluster bombs since the August 14, 2006, cease-fire.

Cluster munitions spread bomblets over a wide area from a single container. The bomblets often do not explode on impact, but can do so later at the slightest touch, making them as deadly as anti-personnel landmines.

Source : The Daily Star