Preliminary State Department Report Finds Possible Israeli Weapons Violations
Washington, D.C. | January 29, 2007 | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is pleased with statements concerning the possible Israeli violations of bilateral weapons treaties with the United States. The possible violations were included in a preliminary report delivered to Congress today by the US Department of State. The report indicates that the Department of State may have found evidence that Israel violated bilateral weapons agreements when it dropped US-made cluster bombs on civilian populations in Lebanon last summer.
Stressing that the findings were preliminary and further investigations and action against the Israeli government would be determined in consultation with Congress, State Department spokesperson, Sean McCormack said, “There may?likely could have been some violations.”
During its conflict with Hezbollah last summer, Israel dropped the majority of unexploded ordinances during the last 72 hours of the conflict before an impending cease fire deadline. Reports from international human rights groups have determined that Israeli Defense Forces dropped more than 130,000 cluster bombs containing 1.2 million cluster bomblets in 498 locations in villages throughout southern Lebanon. These cluster bombs added to those already in southern Lebanon from previous Israeli operations. Long after hostilities have ended, the Lebanese civilian population continues to be killed and maimed by these American-made weapons.
Last August, ADC welcomed reports that the State Department had commenced an investigation into possible violations of Israel‘s use of US-made cluster bombs in its conflict with Hezbollah. ADC urges Congress to seriously investigate whether Israel violated the Arms Export Control Act and other bilateral weapons agreements between the two nations. The nation‘s largest Arab-American grassroots organization further asks Congress to consider legislation to ban federal funding for cluster bombs until the US Department of Defense articulates a clear policy on their permissible use.