Middle East Review

1/28/2007 9:00:00 AM GMT
Media reports and security sources revealed on Sunday that Israeli planes dumped 10 suspicious green balloons over the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre on Saturday.
Sources also said that at least eight people, who attempted to touch the “suspicious green balloons,” are suffering from nausea and dizziness and were taken to the hospital.
The coast of Tyre had been sealed off to prevent people from touching the ‘suspicious balloons’, believed so far to be poisonous.
The Lebanese National News Agency reported that among those who were rushed to hospital were a Lebanese staff sergeant, a recruit and An Nahar reporter Rana Jouni.
Officials at a hospital in Nabatiyeh confirmed that similar green balloons were dropped over the market-town of Nabatiyeh, 54 kilometres south of the capital.
This is not the first time Israel violates Lebanese airspace since the ceasefire that followed its summer war in the country against Hezbollah fighters.
The Israeli army violates the Lebanese airspace on a daily basis since the end of the 34 day war, during which it’s believed to have dropped over 1 million cluster bombs most of which during the last 3 days of the conflict.
Half of these bombs remain unexploded in South Lebanon, endangering the lives of Lebanese civilians.

“Israel may have violated Arms Pact”

The State Department is expected to present to the Congress a report on whether Israel has violated the Arms Control Act by misusing the American-made cluster bombs it dropped on civilian areas in Lebanon during its war on the country last summer.
State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper said Saturday that the report will be sent to the Congress on Monday, without mentioning any of its findings. But according to The New York Times, the report will say that Israel may have violated agreements with the United States by its use of American-supplied cluster munitions during the 34-day war on Lebanon.
“We take our obligations under the Arms Control Act seriously,” said Cooper. “Our forwarding to Congress of a preliminary assessment is an indication of that.
“The Israeli government is also taking quite seriously their responsibility in providing information,” Cooper said. “We are not making a final judgment.”
The American President Ronald Reagan imposed a six-year ban on weapons sales to Israel after a congressional investigation found that it improperly used U.S.-made cluster bombs during its 1982 occupation of Lebanon.
— AJP and agencies

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