Demining Stops in Lebanon

by Project Censored

Researched by Ian Bridges and Lizbeth Malmstead

Efforts to clear the more than one million cluster bombs Israel dropped throughout south Lebanon during the last days of its devastating 34-day war with Hezbollah in the summer of 2006, will stop due to lack of funding. Demining teams, comprised of the Lebanese Army, UN Forces and approximately 1,000 mostly Lebanese civilians will withdraw though only 43 percent of the areas affected by the cluster bombs dropped during the July 2006 war have been cleared and the direct threat has been eliminated from only 49 percent of contaminated areas. “Aside from the cluster bombs, we still have 300,000 landmines along the Blue Line (the frontier with Israel),” said Tyre mayor Abdel Hosn al-Husseini, referring to mines laid by Israel before its withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. Forty-five thousand cluster bombs were cleared from one village alone. Spokesperson for the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre maintains that the main impediment is the fact that Israel has not revealed any information on the cluster bombs that its air forces dropped. “The United Nations has repeatedly requested cluster bomb data from Israel (including maps and the type of ordnance dropped), but in two years plus, we still haven’t received the requested data.”

“Lebanon Deminers Hang Up Their Detectors as Funds Dry Up” Unnamed author, Agence France Presse, August 31, 2008 http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2008/08/31