20 July 2006


The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is greatly concerned by reports that Israel is using cluster munitions in Lebanon.  While such reports are as yet unconfirmed, the CMC appeals to Israel not to use cluster munitions under any circumstance.  It has been demonstrated in other conflicts, most recently in Iraq in 2003, that cluster munitions are inaccurate and unreliable weapons that pose unacceptable dangers to civilians both during attacks, due to their wide, unguided dispersal, and afterward, due to the many hazardous landmine-like duds they leave behind.   Israel used cluster munitions in Lebanon in 1978 and the 1980s.  At that time, the United States placed a moratorium on the transfer of cluster munitions to Israel out of concern for civilian casualties.  Those weapons used more than two decades ago continue to affect Lebanon, as documented in a recent report by CMC member Landmine Action, “Cluster Munitions in Lebanon.” Israel has in its arsenal cluster munitions delivered by aircraft, artillery and rockets.  Israel is a major producer and exporter of cluster munitions, primarily artillery projectiles and rockets containing M85 DPICM (Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munition) submunitions.  Israeli Military Industries has reportedly produced over 60 million M85 DPICM submunitions.  Israel also produces at least six different types of air-dropped cluster bombs.  It has imported from the United States M26 rockets for its Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). There is growing international momentum to stop the use of cluster munitions.  Belgium became the first country to ban cluster munitions in February 2006 and Norway announced a moratorium on the weapon in June 2006.  Cluster munitions are increasingly the focus of discussion at the meetings of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), with ever more states calling for a new international instrument dealing with cluster munitions. The Cluster Munition Coalition calls on Israel and all other states to adopt an immediate moratorium on the use of cluster munitions.