US Senate Rejects Restraints on Cluster Bombs

September 7th, 2006 - by admin

The News – 2006-09-07 23:25:00

WASHINGTON (September 07, 2006) — The Senate on Wednesday rejected a move by Democrats to stop the Pentagon from using cluster bombs near civilian targets and to cut off sales unless purchasers abide by the same rules.

On a 70-30 vote, the Senate defeated an amendment to a Pentagon budget bill to block use of the deadly munitions near populated areas. The vote came after the State Department announced last month that it is investigating whether Israel misused American-made cluster bombs in civilian areas of Lebanon.

Unexploded cluster bombs, anti-personnel weapons that spray bomblets over a wide area, litter homes, gardens and highways in south Lebanon after Israel’s 34-day war with Hizbullah activists. Democratic Sens Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy have long sought to keep cluster bombs from being used near concentrated areas of civilians.

They say that as many as 40 percent of the munitions fail to detonate on impact, they can still can explode later, leaving innocent civilians and children vulnerable to injury or death long after hostilities have ceased.

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