Israel Hands Over Lebanon Cluster Bomb Maps - UN
BEIRUT - Israel handed over to U.N. peacekeepers on Tuesday maps of where it dropped cluster bombs in Lebanon during the 2006 war with Hezbollah guerrillas, the UNIFIL peacekeeping force said.
The United Nations and the Lebanese government have repeatedly called on Israel to hand over the maps of where it dropped the munitions, most of which were fired in the last 72 hours of the 34-day war.
"UNIFIL received from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) today technical strike data and related maps on the cluster munitions fired by the IDF over Lebanon during the 2006 conflict," UNIFIL said in a statement. "Technical experts from UNIFIL are currently examining and assessing the data received," it added.
An Israeli army spokesman said maps showing cluster bomb locations had been given to UNIFIL last year. He could not immediately confirm if new maps had been handed over on Tuesday.
Dozens of people have been killed and several hundred wounded in mainly rural south Lebanon by munitions left behind by the 2006 war.
A U.N. Security Council resolution which halted the war called on Israel to give the United Nations all remaining maps showing land mine sites in Lebanon.
"These maps and locations should have been handed over immediately after the issuance of the international resolution," Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said in a statement.
The war was triggered when Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed political and military movement, captured two Israeli soldiers during a raid into Israel, saying it wanted to negotiate a prisoner exchange.
(Writing by Tom Perry in Beirut)