UN humanitarian chief accuses Israel of 'immoral' use of cluster bombs Alexis Unkovic at 8:32 PM ET
[JURIST] UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland [official profile] condemned Israel [UN press conference summary] Wednesday for its "immoral" use of cluster bombs [FAS backgrounder; Cluster Munition Coalition advocacy website] in the most recent Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive]. Egeland based his criticism on UN officials' recent discovery of 359 separate sites of cluster bomblets, saying that 90% of the cluster bomb strikes occurred in the last 72 hours of the conflict when a UN Security Council ceasefire resolution was pending. Cluster munitions are considered by many human rights activists to be illegal [backgrounder] under multiple provisions of Protocol I [text] of the Geneva Conventions (1977) as they are notoriously inaccurate weapons that spread damage indiscriminately. Israel has previously denied [JURIST report] unauthorized uses of cluster munitions in Lebanon, and has insisted that its weaponry conforms with international standards. BBC News has more.
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