Israeli cluster munitions condemned

THE Liberal Democrats today claimed that the Government has no reliable statistics on Israel's use of cluster munitions in Lebanon, despite recent representations having been made by the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv to the Israeli government The disclosure was made by Foreign Office minister Kim Howells MP, in response to the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey.

By Graham Dines

THE Liberal Democrats today claimed that the Government has no reliable statistics on Israel's use of cluster munitions in Lebanon, despite recent representations having been made by the UK Embassy in Tel Aviv to the Israeli government

The disclosure was made by Foreign Office minister Kim Howells MP, in response to the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey.

“It is staggering that the Government had not previously sought information from the Israeli government on the use of these munitions,” said Mr Harvey.

“Unexploded 'bomblets' can prove devastating for civilians for years to come. Yet governments continually refuse to carry out the assessments which would reveal the true human cost of these weapons.

“Israel's use of cluster bombs in civilian areas and subsequent failure to cooperate with mine clearance efforts demonstrates the necessity for an outright and international ban on the use of such weapons.”

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