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Lebanon claims Israel using banned weapons against civilians

[JURIST] Israel is using "internationally prohibited weapons against civilians" in Lebanon as the country faces "real annihilation," according to a statement from Lebanon Information Minister Ghazi Aridi Sunday after an emergency cabinet meeting. Lebanese media reports state that Israel used phosphorus incendiary bombs and vacuum bombs [GlobalSecurity backgrounders] that suck up air and facilitate building collapses. The use of incendiary weapons against civilians has been banned by Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons [text] since 1980. Lebanon's accusations come amid increasing violence [Bloomberg report; BBC Q&A] between Israel over the weekend and Hezbollah militants [BBC backgrounder] based in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora [BBC profile] said in a separate address to the Lebanese people [text] Sunday that Israel's actions "violated Lebanon's sovereignty and its citizens' rights and dignity." Siniora also said that "Israel is imposing a collective punishment that does not have any moral or legal legitimacy." AP has more.

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