Rights group says Hezbollah used cluster bombs in Mideast conflict Natalie Hrubos at 2:37 PM ET
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) confirmed [HRW report] for the first time Thursday that Hezbollah [BBC backgrounder] used cluster bombs [FAS backgrounder] during the recent conflict with Israel. According to HRW:
International humanitarian law (the laws of war) obliges warring parties to distinguish between combatants and civilians (the principle of distinction) and, when attacking legitimate military targets, to ensure that the military advantage gained in the attack outweighs any possible harm caused to civilians.
Hezbollah launched cluster attacks that were at best indiscriminate, i.e., they violated the principle of distinction by using unguided and highly inaccurate cluster munition models against populated areas. At worst, Hezbollah deliberately attacked civilian areas with these weapons.
Israel has also been widely criticized [JURIST report] for its use of cluster munitions during the recent conflict in the Middle East [JURIST news archive], in which more than 850 mostly civilian Lebanese were killed. Cluster bombs [Cluster Munition Coalition website] pose particular danger to civilians due to their inaccuracy and unreliability.
HRW reported that Hezbollah deployed two Chinese Type-81 rockets [FAS backgrounder] in a July attack on Mghar. The Guardian has more.
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