Cluster bombs still killing Lebanese children

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The UN’s humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, yesterday described Israel’s use of cluster bombs in south Lebanon during the final three days of the conflict there as ‘shocking’ and ‘immoral’.

He added: ‘What’s shocking and I would say completely immoral is that 90 per cent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict when we knew there would be a resolution, when we knew there would be an end.’

What is shocking is the lack of awareness of the UN humanitarian chief.

Israel, in the final days of the recent war, was desperate to get to the Litani River and was willing to kill unlimited numbers of Lebanese and use any weapons that would get it to this target.

The shocked Egeland continued that the UN had identified 359 separate cluster bomb strike locations contaminated with as many as 100,000 unexploded bomblets.

In fact, cluster bombs are now being used routinely in every imperialist war.

Britain used many thousands of cluster bombs during its 2003 effort to take the city of Basra in southern Iraq, and cluster bombs are being used to try and defeat Iraqi and Afghan insurgents.

They are the chosen weapon of the imperialist powers.

In fact, in the period ahead, even more barbarous weapons are being organised for a strike against Iran, including tactical nuclear weapons.

Egeland continued: ‘I hope the US will talk to the Israelis on that, because it is an outrage that we have 100,000 bombs among where children, women, shopkeepers and farmers are now going to tread.’

This statement is a cover-up for US imperialism. The US manufactures and supplies Israel with these weapons and rushes them to its ally whenever it needs to use them in the Lebanon or elsewhere.

The US administration is well aware that Israel showered southern Lebanon with cluster bombs. It supported that use and continues to supply Israel with them.

Their death toll on the Lebanese has continued since the beginning of the ‘cease-fire’.

Chris Clark, head of the UN Mine Action Service in southern Lebanon, said there had been 59 confirmed casualties, including 13 deaths, caused by the explosives since the end of hostilities on August 14.

He said: ‘Those places who made those bombs should have a serious talk with Israel on the use of such bombs that are making our lives so miserable trying to help the Lebanese people,’ he said.

The only talks that the US administration will be having with Olmert and the Israeli government is over their failure to defeat Hezbollah and what weapons Israel will need to do the job in the next round of the struggle.

The Israeli prime minister has confirmed that this is the case by openly rejecting the call made by the UN Secretary General Annan, to end his illegal air and sea blockade of Lebanon.

Speaking after his talks with Annan, Olmert said the blockade would end only when key parts of UN Security Council resolution 1701 had been carried out. These included the deployment of international forces and Lebanese troops on Lebanon’s borders with Syria to prevent weapons flowing from Syria to Hezbollah.

The US and Israel despite their setback in the recent war remain determined to strike further blows at the Lebanon to attempt to destroy Hezbollah and harm Syria.

UN pleas to Israel to be less barbarous in its warfare, and to the US to curb its client, will be greeted with scorn by both.

The situation remains that peace will only be established in the Middle East by revolutionary means, by the Arab masses defeating and disarming Israel, and by the workers of the US and Britain overthrowing US and UK imperialism with socialist revolutions.