During the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon, in the summer of 2006, Israel fired millions of bomblets
, mostly into the south of the country.
During the Israeli onslaught in Lebanon in the summer of 2006, Israel fired millions of bomblets
, mostly into South Lebanon.
21, 2006, available at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1162378451634&pagename=JPost%2F JPArticle%2FShowFull (noting Israel's decision not to use cluster bombs with self-destruct mechanisms); GlobalSecurity.org, M85 Dual-Purpose Bomblet
, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/m85.htm (last visited Oct.
officials estimate that the Israeli military dropped between 1.2 and 4 million cluster bomblets
on southern Lebanon -- 90 percent of them during the last 72 hours of the 33-day conflict, which began after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a July cross-border raid and ended with a cease-fire in August.
American commanders were pleased with the performance of the MLRS during the 1990-91 Gulf War, but concern that several Iraqi 155 mm artillery systems outranged US army guns prompted the development of the Extended Range MLRS (ER-MLRS) 227 mm rocket, which can carry a reduced load of 518 bomblets
to a range of 45 km.
He had triggered a bomblet
while climbing out of an irrigation ditch.
Each "motherbomb" contains 202 BLU-97 "bomblets
" that are carried to earth attached to small parachutes.
Each warhead carries between 10 and 1,000 separate bomblets
and most rounds are fired or dropped in salvo, multiplying the potential for remaining lethal.
The girls were heading home from school when they saw a bomblet
"and they just picked it up and are playing, and after that it exploded," said Bountao, of the victim assistance unit at the National Regulatory Authority which coordinates work on unexploded ordnance.
Jan Egeland, the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, was decidedly undiplomatic in his assessment: "What is shocking and (I would say to me) completely immoral is that 90 percent of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict, when we knew there would be a resolution." During those three days, Israel dumped an estimated 1.2 million bomblets
throughout Lebanon, a country smaller than Connecticut.
Trained as a sniper and a scout, he died in the first week of the invasion as his unit unknowingly entered an area that had been hit by an American cluster bomb, which spews small explosive bomblets
over a wide area.
Although planned MLRS bomblet
failure rates are meant to be on the order of five per cent, a US General Accounting Office report on Operation Desert Storm states that in the terrain conditions in 1991, a proven failure rate of over 20 per cent was reported.