CNN: US weapons 'killing innocent civilians' in Gaza
As Israeli warplanes continue to bomb Gaza, attention is turning to the role of American-made weapons in the deadly attacks, which have now killed over 400 and wounded 2000, including many civilians.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr believes that Israel's use of American weapons against civilians "is becoming very problematic." She notes, for example, that the 2000 pound bomb which killed a Hamas leader and members of his family on Thursday "is part of the billions of dollars that Israel has spent buying weapons from the United States."
Israel's use of American-made weapons in attacking Gaza has been a matter of offical concern for years. In 2002, the State Department announced it was monitoring possible violations of the Arms Export Control Act after the Israeli military used an American-made jet to drop a laser-guided bomb that killed a Hamas leader and 14 civilians in a crowded Gaza City neighborhood.
Just last September, Congress approved a $77 million dollar deal to sell a thousand Boeing GBU-39 bunker-buster "smart bombs" to Israel. The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday that these small, GPS-guided missiles have now been used on underground tunnels and launchers in Gaza.
"Precision guided bombs are only precision in that they hit the target they are aimed at," Starr explained. "We're getting these civilian casualties. These weapons are supposed to be used for a country's self-defense. Israel, obviously, believes this is its self-defense against Hamas, but you see these civilian casualties. That's not why the US sells weapons abroad -- for the killing of innocent civilians."
"The world community only is going to stand for this for so long," continued Starr. "It's this reason that you're seeing people look for a political settlement." She added that Israel now intends to launch a ground campaign in Gaza to "get rid of Hamas once and for all," but -- as the US has learned in Iraq and Afghanistan -- it is impossible to wipe out an insurgency by military force along without first getting the civilian population on your side.
This video is from CNN's American Morning, broadcast Jan. 2, 2008.
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