stat counter

Monday, November 26, 2007

'Wash Post' Multimedia Probes Deadly Legacy of Israeli Cluster Bombs in Lebanon

By E&P Staff Published:
November 25, 2007 12:15 AM ET

Accompanying a Washington Post report in print on Sunday, the newspaper at its Web site launched a multimedia offering on the deadly legacy of cluster bombs used by Israel in its bombing of Lebanon last year.

The site offers audio reports, graphics, a slide show and test.

Here is part of the text. The rest is at

* Rasha Zayoun grimaced as she lifted herself onto her one leg and spun from her bed into a wheelchair. Her torment wasn'tfrom her amputated left foot, mangled beyond repair when an Israeli cluster bomblet exploded in her home in southern Lebanon in January; it was from her remaining foot, speckled with shrapnel and so stiff from lack of use that putting her weight on it shot jolts of pain all the way to her face. She was 17 when she found the explosive in a bag of wild thyme that her father had brought home. "I thought it was a toy," she said.

At least 60 countries have cluster bombs, according to Human Rights Watch. Defense ministries, including the Pentagon, say the bombs work well against enemy troop formations and armored vehicles, but the civilian toll can be dire. Once dropped, the munitions scatter hundreds of bomblets randomly over a wide area, many of which fail to explode and linger on as de facto landmines. "Dozens of people still die or lose limbs in Southeast Asia each year from the millions of cluster bombs that America fired back in the 1960s and '70s," said Marc Garlasco, Human Rights Watch's senior military analyst. The group estimates that tens of thousands of civilians have been hurt or killed by such munitions in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Chechnya and some 20 other countries.

Rasha lost her foot after the summer 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, the radical Shiite militia. U.N. officials estimate that the Israeli military dropped between 1.2 and 4 million cluster bomblets on southern Lebanon -- 90 percent of them during the last 72 hours of the 33-day conflict, which began after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers in a July cross-border raid and ended with a cease-fire in August. The munitions have killed or injured some 255 people since then, according to Human Rights Watch. "The vast majority of the cluster bombs Israel used in Lebanon were U.S.-manufactured, including many clunkers from the Vietnam War," Garlasco said. The Israeli military says it aimed only at military targets. (source)

Link HERE to view the multimedia report with slide shows and audio at the Washington Post.

No comments: