Senate considers cluster bombs restrictions


The U.S. Senate version of a foreign operations appropriations bill restricts the sale of cluster munitions.

The version still under consideration by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee bans the sale of munitions that have less than a 99 percent chance of immediate explosion and bans the sale of the bombs, which scatter shrapnel over a wide are, to clients that do not pledge to not use it in areas “where civilians are known to be present or in areas normally inhabited by civilians.”

The bill is likely to be referred to the full Senate sometime next week and includes $2.44 billion appropriated for Israel by the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

The language reflects concern over the cluster munitions left behind by Israel in Lebanon during last summer’s war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Bombs that exploded after the war killed at least 20 people.

A standalone bill with similar restrictions, sponsored last year by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is Jewish, was defeated, reportedly after strong lobbying against by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Recommended from JTA