Monday, September 18, 2006

Deadly Harvest.


Front page in my newspaper today is this story about the deadly harvest that is being reaped in Lebanon. The harvest of 1.2 million unexploded bomblets sitting behind after Israel flooded cluster bombs over Lebanon in the last 72 hours before the ceasefire. A commander in the MLRS (multiple launch rocket systems) unit told the Israeli daily Haaretz that the army had fired 1,800 cluster rockets, spraying 1.2 million bomblets over houses and fields. "In Lebanon, we covered entire villages with cluster bombs," he said. "What we did there was crazy and monstrous." What makes the cluster bombs so dangerous is that 30 per cent of the bomblets do not detonate on impact. They can lie for years - often difficult to see because of their small size, on roofs, in gardens, in trees, beside roads or in rubbish - waiting to explode when disturbed.

Latest update on cluster munition problem in south Lebanon shows that the number of recorded civilian casualties directly attributable to cluster munitions since the ceasefire is: 83 (74 injured and 9 dead). Of this figure of 83 casualties, 20 are children.

What a legacy Israel has left the people of Southern Lebanon. The people never deserve this, playing roulette with the harvest. How can the people farm their land or rebuild and return to their homes. It is a lottery going out for a walk or onto the roof of your home. I love taking my dog for a walk here in the UK, he is a scavange and roots into undergrowth everywhere. In Lebanon he would not live long before he detonated a bomblet which is about the size and look of a tennis ball or torch batteries with ribbons. Without the farmers harvesting their crops there will be economic ruin over this whole area. No tourists will want to wander about in this minefield which will take a long time to clear. It is anybody's guess how many years the mine clearance will take. Could you imagine what the Western world would have said if it was Israel who had these bomblets littered on her land? This is a crime against humanity and the culprit is Israel. Shame on Israel for yet another war crime and their attitude to a ceasefire where the munitions they delivered on Lebanon are not spent, they are simply waiting for the next victim.
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