The head of the Israeli Army rocket unit said on Tuesday that the
Israeli army fired at least 1800 cluster bombs containing over 1.2
million cluster bomblets on Lebanon during the war.
The commander added that the army “covered towns with cluster bombs, “what we did is insane and monstrous”, he said.
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that army artillery units testified during a war inquiry that soldiers used phosphorous shells that are banned by the international law. Most of these shells were fired at the last ten days of war.
Haaretz added that the rocket unit commander stated that Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) platforms were heavily used regardless the known fact that these platform are highly inaccurate.
Haaretz reported that the MLRS track is capable of firing very high volume of mostly unguided munitions, and that the basic rocket fired by the platform is unguided and cannot hit the exact target with arrange of nearly 32 kilometers.
Cluster bombs, manufactured mainly in the United States and in Israel, are small bombs that splinter into many pieces, raining shrapnel upon an area 2-3 kilometers from where the bomb hits. For this reason, cluster bombs disproportionately impact civilian populations.
Since the Israel-Lebanon ceasefire was declared on August 14th, about 20 Lebanese civilians, including children, were killed by unexploded cluster bombs left by the Israeli military after their 34-day invasion of Lebanon. During the war, over 1,000 Lebanese civilians were killed, many of them by cluster bombs. The number of casualties by cluster bombs increased significantly in the last part of the war, when a U.S. rush shipment of weaponry, including cluster bombs, was sent to Israel.
Six nations took these facts to the United Nations (UN) to ask for 'cluster bombs' to be added to a UN list of internationally-banned weapons. Austria, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden and the Vatican called for the ban during an international review conference on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
The cluster rounds which don't detonate on impact, believed by the United Nations to be around 40% of those fired by the army in Lebanon, remain on the ground as unexploded munitions, effectively littering the landscape with thousands of land mines which will continue to claim victims long after the war has ended.
Because of their high level of failure to detonate, it is believed that there are around 500,000 unexploded munitions on the ground in Lebanon.