UN denounces Israel cluster bombs

The UN’s humanitarian chief has accused Israel of “completely immoral” use of cluster bombs in Lebanon.

UN clearance experts had so far found 100,000 unexploded cluster bomblets at 359 separate sites, Jan Egeland said.

Israel has repeated its previous insistence that munitions it uses in conflict comply with international law.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rebuffed UN chief Kofi Annan’s calls for a swift end to Israel’s air and sea blockade of Lebanon.

After talks with Mr Annan, Mr Olmert said the siege would only be lifted once the ceasefire terms were fully implemented.

This included the release of two Israeli soldiers whose capture by Hezbollah militants sparked the conflict.

But a Lebanese Hezbollah cabinet minister said there would be no unconditional release of the soldiers – the pair would only be freed as a result of a prisoner exchange with Israel.

Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons – it shouldn’t have happened
Jan Egeland
UN humanitarian chief

UN efforts to rid Lebanon of cluster bombs have been under way since the conflict ended. Earlier estimates from UN experts had suggested a total of about 100 cluster bomb sites.

Mr Egeland described the fresh statistics as “shocking new information”.

“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 said.
\nThe UN ceasefire resolution which ended the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was agreed by the Security Council on Friday, 11 August, and came into effect on Monday, 14 August.
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Mr Egeland added: "Cluster bombs have affected large areas – lots of homes, lots of farmland. They will be with us for many months, possibly years.
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"Every day, people are maimed, wounded and killed by these weapons. It shouldn\’t have happened."
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Mr Egeland said his information had come from the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre, which had undertaken assessments of nearly 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon.
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Earlier this week the US state department launched an inquiry into whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon during the conflict.
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A senior White House official told the BBC that the investigation would focus on whether US-made weapons were used against non-military targets.
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Blockade defended
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At their talks in Jerusalem, Mr Annan and Mr Olmert discussed the deployment of UN troops in Lebanon as well as the continuing blockade.
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The UN chief said he hoped Israel would withdraw from southern Lebanon once 5,000 UN peacekeepers were on the ground "in the coming days and weeks".
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The BBC\’s Jill McGivering, in Jerusalem, said Mr Annan and Mr Olmert emerged from their meeting with little sign of the gap between them having narrowed.
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Ehud Olmert rebuffed Kofi Annan\’s call
\nOlmert and Annan
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Mr Annan\’s Jerusalem talks followed a visit to Lebanon as part of a regional tour aimed at bolstering the truce between Israel and Hezbollah. “,1] ); //–>

The UN ceasefire resolution which ended the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah was agreed by the Security Council on Friday, 11 August, and came into effect on Monday, 14 August.

Mr Egeland 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.”

Mr Egeland said his information had come from the UN Mine Action Co-ordination Centre, which had undertaken assessments of nearly 85% of the bombed areas in Lebanon.

Earlier this week the US state department launched an inquiry into whether Israel misused US-made cluster bombs in Lebanon during the conflict.

A senior White House official told the BBC that the investigation would focus on whether US-made weapons were used against non-military targets.

Blockade defended

At their talks in Jerusalem, Mr Annan and Mr Olmert discussed the deployment of UN troops in Lebanon as well as the continuing blockade.

The UN chief said he hoped Israel would withdraw from southern Lebanon once 5,000 UN peacekeepers were on the ground “in the coming days and weeks”.

The BBC’s Jill McGivering, in Jerusalem, said Mr Annan and Mr Olmert emerged from their meeting with little sign of the gap between them having narrowed.

Ehud Olmert rebuffed Kofi Annan’s call
Olmert and Annan

Mr Annan’s Jerusalem talks followed a visit to Lebanon as part of a regional tour aimed at bolstering the truce between Israel and Hezbollah.
\nAfter his talks in Israel, Mr Annan flew to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
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At a joint press conference in Ramallah, Mr Annan said that more than 200 Palestinians had been killed since the end of June, and the violence had to stop.
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Mr Annan has now arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II, after which he is expected to proceed to Syria.
\nStory from BBC NEWS:
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5299938.stm
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Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. Click on the links in the image to find out more.
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A range of so-called bomblets can be employed to attack different targets such as armoured vehicles or people – or to start fires.
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They can cover a large area but do not have precision guidance. Dropped from medium to high altitudes, they can wander off target.
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There is a significant "dud rate" of about 5%. In other words, many do not explode but, rather like landmines, litter the ground with the potential to explode years later.
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The weapon
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One widely-used cluster bomb is the US-manufactured CBU-87/B "combined effects munition". Weighing 950 lbs (430 kgs), it is the carrier for 202 BLU-97/B bomblets.
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It can be dropped from a wide range of strike aircraft.
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Wind corrected munitions dispensers – a tail kit containing guidance equipment – can be used to improve accuracy. Dropped from 40,000 ft, it can steer to a target area about nine miles away.”,1] ); //–>

After his talks in Israel, Mr Annan flew to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

At a joint press conference in Ramallah, Mr Annan said that more than 200 Palestinians had been killed since the end of June, and the violence had to stop.

Mr Annan has now arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II, after which he is expected to proceed to Syria.
Story from BBC NEWS:
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5299938.stm
 

 

Cluster bombs are controversial weapons consisting of a canister which breaks apart to release a large number of small bombs. Click on the links in the image to find out more.

A range of so-called bomblets can be employed to attack different targets such as armoured vehicles or people – or to start fires.

They can cover a large area but do not have precision guidance. Dropped from medium to high altitudes, they can wander off target.

There is a significant “dud rate” of about 5%. In other words, many do not explode but, rather like landmines, litter the ground with the potential to explode years later.

The weapon

One widely-used cluster bomb is the US-manufactured CBU-87/B “combined effects munition”. Weighing 950 lbs (430 kgs), it is the carrier for 202 BLU-97/B bomblets.

It can be dropped from a wide range of strike aircraft.

Wind corrected munitions dispensers – a tail kit containing guidance equipment – can be used to improve accuracy. Dropped from 40,000 ft, it can steer to a target area about nine miles away.
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As the weapon falls the tail fins cause it to spin. The spin rate can be varied in six stages and up to 2,500 rpm.
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The canister is set to open at one of 10 pre-set altitudes, from 300 to 3,000 ft.
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This combination of height and spin determines the area over which the bomblets will be scattered when the weapon opens.
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The 202 bomblets are yellow cylinders about the size of a drinks can – 8 ins long and 2.5 ins across (20 x 6 cms).
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As they fall, they deploy inflatable tail pieces for stability and to make sure they descend nose down.
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The area covered by the bomblets depends on the spin rate and opening height of the weapon.
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Typically they might cover an area about 650 by 1,300 ft (200 by 400 m) – about the size of eight football pitches.
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When they explode, the bomblets cause damage and injury across a wide area.
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The explosive charge is capable of piercing armour to a depth of about 7 ins (17 cms). The blast has a radius of as much as 250 ft (76 m).
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One variety of cluster bomb has heat-seeking bomblets which direct themselves at vehicles. Others are used to scatter landmines.
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The BLU-97/B bomblets have
\n*    A shaped explosive charge for piercing armour
\n*    A case which is scored so that it fragments along precise lines, creating about 300 shrapnel fragments
\n*    A ring of incendiary zirconium for starting fires
\n“,1] ); //–>

 

As the weapon falls the tail fins cause it to spin. The spin rate can be varied in six stages and up to 2,500 rpm.

The canister is set to open at one of 10 pre-set altitudes, from 300 to 3,000 ft.

This combination of height and spin determines the area over which the bomblets will be scattered when the weapon opens.

The 202 bomblets are yellow cylinders about the size of a drinks can – 8 ins long and 2.5 ins across (20 x 6 cms).

As they fall, they deploy inflatable tail pieces for stability and to make sure they descend nose down.

 
The area covered by the bomblets depends on the spin rate and opening height of the weapon.

Typically they might cover an area about 650 by 1,300 ft (200 by 400 m) – about the size of eight football pitches.

When they explode, the bomblets cause damage and injury across a wide area.

The explosive charge is capable of piercing armour to a depth of about 7 ins (17 cms). The blast has a radius of as much as 250 ft (76 m).

One variety of cluster bomb has heat-seeking bomblets which direct themselves at vehicles. Others are used to scatter landmines.

The BLU-97/B bomblets have
*    A shaped explosive charge for piercing armour
*    A case which is scored so that it fragments along precise lines, creating about 300 shrapnel fragments
*    A ring of incendiary zirconium for starting fires
/world/americas/2788569.stm
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“,0] ); D([“ce”]); //–>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2788569.stm

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One Response

  1. […] Online Edition > Americas One widely-used cluster bomb is the US-manufactured CBU-87/B UN denounces Israel cluster bombs Justice for Lebanon __________________ Live the Light, Give the Light, Bring Heaven to Earth Every Day! The ancient […]

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