Remnants of July War: Friday’s Other Bomb
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Last Friday started out like any other day for Mohammad Ibrahim, 27, a local deminer with the Norwegian Mines Advisory Group. Ibrahim risked his life daily to help clear the land near his village, Deir Sirian, of Israeli cluster bombs.
At 2 pm – less than an hour before the Achrafieh explosion – the residents of Deir Sirian heard a small blast coming from the nearby Wadi Hjeir area where Ibrahim had been working. He was rushed to Mais al-Jabal Hospital, but died from his injuries around 9 pm.
Ibrahim left this world silently. The news stations did not cover his death, nor did any political figure call for public mourning. Only his fellow villagers wore black as they carried his coffin on their shoulders and buried him.
Israel dropped approximately four million cluster bombs on South Lebanon during the July 2006 War, most of them in the last two days of the war when it was clear a ceasefire was on the horizon. Years later, unexploded bomblets continue to kill and maim, despite the ongoing efforts of professional deminers and trained volunteers to clear the affected areas.
The same day that saw the world shocked over the assassination of a top Lebanese security official, an unsung hero, married just over a month, was killed in the line of duty while working to make his community safer.
Many of Ibrahim’s friends and family living in Beirut were unable to attend his funeral on Saturday due to clashes and blocked roads.
MP Kassim Hashem commemorated Ibrahim by calling for the defeat of “the occupation buried in the ground,” a reference to the cluster bombs and landmines spread throughout the South.
He went on to urge Lebanese to unite around the “resistance option” in these “crucial and fateful times in the history of the country and region.”
The official also praised the role of the army in clearing cluster bombs and confronting the hostile violations, and urged support for the Resistance to “safeguard the balance of the fear equation with the Israeli enemy because it deters Israeli attacks on Lebanon."
Since the July 2006 War, 77 states, including Lebanon, have ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) banning the manufacture and use of cluster bombs. Some of these signees, like Great Britain and France, previously manufactured or deployed cluster munitions. The United States and Israel have not signed the CCM.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.