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US Completes Report on Israeli Use of Cluster Bombs in Lebanon


The State Department has completed a report on whether Israel misused American-made cluster bombs during the war with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon last year.

State Department officials are required to notify Congress about the possible misuse of American weapons under terms of the Arms Control Act, which governs U.S. arms sales.

The New York Times newspaper says the report, expected to be delivered to Congress on Monday, will say Israel may have violated agreements with Washington by dropping U.S.-made cluster bombs in populated areas of southern Lebanon.

The newspaper says there is disagreement about whether to penalize Israel. Some officials reportedly believe Israel violated U.S. laws, while others say Israel acted in self-defense, and at worst committed a technical violation.

Israel says its use of cluster munitions during the war complied with international regulations.

Israeli officials say the military fired cluster bombs at Lebanese towns and villages because Hezbollah militants were using populated areas as cover to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. Hezbollah denies using civilians as human shields.

The U.N. mine agency says unexploded ordnance has killed 30 Lebanese and injured 180 since the end of the war.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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