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Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast-State Department seeks to delay supply
IMRA ^ | 8-11-06

Posted on 08/11/2006 5:59:02 AM PDT by SJackson

Clip and save] State Department seeks to delay supply of M-26 artillery rockets to Israel

Israel Asks U.S. to Ship Rockets With Wide Blast By DAVID S. CLOUD The New York TImes August 11, 2006 www.nytimes.com/2006/08/11/world/middleeast/11military.html?hp&ex=1155355200 &en=4887d0ebeb1cdf33&ei=5094&partner=homepage WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 - Israel has asked the Bush administration to speed delivery of short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions, which it could use to strike Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon, two American officials said Thursday.

The request for M-26 artillery rockets, which are fired in barrages and carry hundreds of grenade-like bomblets that scatter and explode over a broad area, is likely to be approved shortly, along with other arms, a senior official said.

But some State Department officials have sought to delay the approval because of concerns over the likelihood of civilian casualties, and the diplomatic repercussions. The rockets, while they would be very effective against hidden missile launchers, officials say, are fired by the dozen and could be expected to cause civilian casualties if used against targets in populated areas.

Israel is asking for the rockets now because it has been unable to suppress Hezbollah's Katyusha rocket attacks in the month-old conflict by using bombs dropped from aircraft and other types of artillery, the officials said. The Katyusha rockets have killed dozens of civilians in Israel.

The United States had approved the sale of M-26's to Israel some time ago, but the weapons had not yet been delivered when the crisis in Lebanon erupted. If the shipment is approved, Israel may be told that it must be especially careful about firing the rockets into populated areas, the senior official said.

Israel has long told American officials that it wanted M-26 rockets for use against conventional armies in case Israel was invaded, one of the American officials said. But after being pressed in recent days on what they intended to use the weapons for, Israeli officials disclosed that they planned to use them against rocket sites in Lebanon. It was this prospect that raised the intense concerns over civilian casualties.

During much of the 1980's, the United States maintained a moratorium on selling cluster munitions to Israel, following disclosures that civilians in Lebanon had been killed with the weapons during the 1982 Israeli invasion. But the moratorium was lifted late in the Reagan administration, and since then, the United States has sold Israel some types of cluster munitions, the senior official said.

Officials would discuss the issue only on the condition of anonymity, as the debate over what to do is not resolved and is freighted with implications for the difficult diplomacy that is under way.

State Department officials "are discussing whether or not there needs to be a block on this sale because of the past history and because of the current circumstances," said the senior official, adding that it was likely that Israel will get the rockets, but will be told to be "be careful."

David Siegel, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, declined to comment on Israel's request. He said, though, that "as a rule, we obviously don't fire into populated areas, with the exception of the use of precision-guided munitions against terrorist targets." In such cases, Israel has dropped leaflets warning of impending attacks to avoid civilian casualties, he said.

In the case of cluster munitions, including the Multiple Launch Rocket System, which fires the M-26, the Israeli military only fires into open terrain where rocket launchers or other military targets are found, to avoid killing civilians, an Israeli official said.

The debate over whether to ship Israel the missiles, which include the cluster munitions and use launchers that Israel has already received, comes as the Bush administration has been trying to win support for a draft United Nations resolution that calls for immediate cessation of "all attacks" by Hezbollah and of "offensive military operations" by Israel.

Arab governments, under pressure to halt the rising number of civilian casualties in Lebanon, have criticized the measure for not calling for a withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon.

While Bush administration officials have criticized Israeli strikes that have caused civilian casualties, they have also backed the offensive against Hezbollah by rushing arms shipments to the region. Last month the administration approved a shipment of precision-guided munitions, which one senior official said this week included at least 25 of the 5,000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs.

Israel has recently asked for another shipment of precision-guided munitions, which is likely to be approved, the senior official said.

Last month, the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said its researchers had uncovered evidence that Israel had fired cluster munitions on July 19 at the Lebanese village of Bilda, which the group said had killed one civilian and wounded at least 12 others, including 7 children. The group said it had interviewed survivors of the attack, who described incoming artillery shells dispensing hundreds of cluster submunitions on the village.

Human Rights Watch also released photographs, taken recently by its researchers in northern Israel, of what it said were American-supplied artillery shells that had markings showing they carried cluster munitions.

Mr. Siegel, the Israeli Embassy spokesman, denied that cluster munitions had been used on the village.

The United States Army also employs the M-26 rocket and the Multiple Launch Rocket System in combat, and the Pentagon has sold the weapon to numerous other allies, in addition to Israel. The system is especially effective at attacking enemy artillery sites, military experts say, because the rockets can be quickly targeted against a defined geographic area. Each rocket contains 644 submunitions that kill enemy soldiers operating artillery in the area.

But Human Rights Watch and other groups have campaigned for the elimination of cluster munitions, noting that even if civilians are not present when the weapons is used, some submunitions that do not detonate on impact can later injure or kill civilians.

The M-26 "is a particularly deadly weapon," Bonnie Docherty, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, who helped write a study of the United States' use of the weapons in the 2003 Iraq invasion. "They were used widely by U.S. forces in Iraq and caused hundreds of civilian casualties."

After the Reagan administration determined in 1982 that the cluster munitions had been used by Israel against civilian areas, the delivery of the artillery shells containing the munitions to Israel was suspended.

Israel was found to have violated a 1976 agreement with the United States in which it had agreed only to use cluster munitions against Arab armies and against clearly defined military targets. The moratorium on selling Israel cluster weapons was later lifted by the Reagan administration.

This week, State Department officials were studying records of what happened in 1982 as part of their internal deliberations into whether to grant approval for the sale to go forward.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2006israelwar; armsbuildup; bleedingheartattack; bonniedocherty; clusterbombs; docherty; hrw; humanrightswatch; israel
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1 posted on 08/11/2006 5:59:03 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

they need to use these cluster f**k bombs to do damage.

send them lots of them....


2 posted on 08/11/2006 6:01:23 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: SJackson
If Israel has ordered cluster munitions, it means that they and the US are playing a coy game with the U.N., and these cease fire negotiations are nothing but a ruse.

Clusters = serious ass kicking time.
3 posted on 08/11/2006 6:01:42 AM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: Pukin Dog

I want MOABS!


4 posted on 08/11/2006 6:02:12 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: Pukin Dog

This is Israel's last chance for clusters. It's clusters last stand.


5 posted on 08/11/2006 6:03:32 AM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: Vaquero

Bush should tell state department personel--"send them now or send me your resignation now".


6 posted on 08/11/2006 6:09:55 AM PDT by rod1
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To: rod1

Why would he do that? The U.S. (i.e., the Bush administration) doesn't want to send these munitions to Israel.


7 posted on 08/11/2006 6:14:53 AM PDT by Alberta's Child (Can money pay for all the days I lived awake but half asleep?)
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To: SJackson

I think these munitions would be highly effective. It's a sick world when a country can't defend itself because some folks want a more "sensitive war".


8 posted on 08/11/2006 6:16:29 AM PDT by zippy the razor
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To: SJackson
But some State Department officials have sought to delay the approval because of concerns over the likelihood of civilian casualties, and the diplomatic repercussions. The rockets, while they would be very effective against hidden missile launchers, officials say, are fired by the dozen and could be expected to cause civilian casualties if used against targets in populated areas.

I swear to The Almighty... If I were elected President the first thing I would do is go over to Foggy Bottom with an industrial-sized broom and sweep the building out of every career Stater in there!

9 posted on 08/11/2006 6:19:35 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Vaquero

We should give them a full menu, take thier order with a smile , and give them anything they want from our arsenal, at no charge.


10 posted on 08/11/2006 6:20:41 AM PDT by diverteach
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To: SJackson

Before we send them all to Israel, we need to drop one on the State Department.


11 posted on 08/11/2006 6:20:43 AM PDT by SMM48
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To: SJackson

Is there any doubt that Rice is totally incompetent?

The way to win a war is "sudden, resolute, and aggressive action".

This dumbo thinks she can solve the problem with her half-assed diplomacy?

This is a disgrace.

Fire her worthless ass and bring back George Marshall. He'd so better dead that she can alive.


12 posted on 08/11/2006 6:21:15 AM PDT by Santiago de la Vega (El hijo del Zorro)
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To: SJackson
But some State Department officials have sought to delay the approval because of concerns over the likelihood of civilian casualties, and the diplomatic repercussions

As usual the State Dept. has only the interest of the UN and America's enemies at heart. The State Dept needs mass firings and new people put into position that understand that they are to work for United States interests period! These folks along with the Rats are becoming a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
13 posted on 08/11/2006 6:27:41 AM PDT by Wolfhound777 (It's not our job to forgive them. Only God can do that. Our job is to arrange the meeting)
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To: SJackson
Clinton was afraid to use cluster munitions in Afghanistan. That was a real cluster f---.
14 posted on 08/11/2006 6:37:14 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: diverteach

We should also deliver them and install them on whatever roofs and such that israel specifies.


15 posted on 08/11/2006 6:38:17 AM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Enterprise

"It's clusters last stand."

Good one!


16 posted on 08/11/2006 6:41:16 AM PDT by Rb ver. 2.0
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To: SJackson

Any redlegs out there? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe single MLRS rounds be fired at a specific target.


The first MLRS rocket was the unguided M26 rocket. The M26 is spin-stabilized by 4 fins, has a range of 32 km (20 miles) and is armed with 644 M77 DPICM (Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions) anti-personnel/anti-materiel grenades. The M77 submunitions are dispensed over the target in mid-air, are drag-ribbon stabilized during free fall, and detonate on impact. The MLRS/M26 was first used operationally during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, where it acquired the nickname "steel rain".


17 posted on 08/11/2006 6:46:39 AM PDT by MadJack ("Today is the first day of the rest of your miserable existence. Suck it up, loser.")
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
2006israelwar> 2006israelwar or WOT [War on Terror]

----------------------------

18 posted on 08/11/2006 6:47:16 AM PDT by SJackson (The PilgrimsóDoing the jobs Native Americans wouldn't do!)
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To: SJackson
The only person quoted on this claiming Israel wants cluster munitions is from HRW.

The unnamed State Department person is quoted as saying Israel will get these munitions w/a warning "to be careful."

The Israeli spokesman isn't commenting.

I am remembering that in the Israeli War for Independence in 1947, the Brits blockaded Israel, no one would sell them anything except outdated and nonfunctional hand guns w/o ammo and the founders of Israel, all of them, of course, survivors of the Nazis and the camps,as well as "illegal entrants", bought European scrap and began manufacturing their own weapons.

While I know we supply the Israelis with advanced munitions, the entire Western world is very shy of using cluster rounds. However, I believe the people who invented the Sten gun under extremely adverse conditions could produce cluster bombs if they intended to use them. Since, so far, the Israelis have refrained to their own detriment from using any munitions that could cause indiscriminate casualties, I am suspicious of this article, its sources and its intent.
19 posted on 08/11/2006 7:09:05 AM PDT by reformedliberal ("Eliminate the mullahs and Islam shall disappear in fifty years." Ayatollah Khomeini)
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator


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