The US may take punitive measures against Israel over the suspected mis-use of American-made cluster bombs during last summer’s war in southern Lebanon. UN-led operations to clear unexploded devices are continuing in the region. The weapons explode spreading smaller bombs over a wide area. The UN has called for a freeze on their use near populated areas.
A US State Department spokesman said a report indicating possible violations of an agreement with Israel on the deployment of the bombs has been sent to Congress: “We worked cooperatively with the Israeli government, took a look at the facts, took a look at the agreement that was in place and then took a look at the legal requirements as specified by law. There may have – likely, could have – been some violations of the agreement.”
The US probe says cluster bombs were responsible for civilian deaths and injuries in southern Lebanon. Congress could decide to take punitive action, including even fines, though analysts say that is unlikely.