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A pod of unexploded cluster bombs fired by the IDF into Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War. (AP)
Last update - 21:25 24/07/2007
Panel to probe alleged IDF war crimes in Second Lebanon War
By Yuval Azoulay, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

The final report on the government and Israel Defense Forces' conduct during the Second Lebanon War, to be completed by the Winograd Commission, is to include the examination of claims that the IDF committed war crimes during last summer's fighting.

The commission, headed by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd, decided to examine allegations made by left-wing Meretz party MK Zahava Gal-On that war crimes had in fact been committed during the war. Parents of soldiers who fought in the war also approached the Winograd panel with similar claims.

In response to these assertions, the chairman of the war probe said that the panel's final report would examine the war's events in view of the norms of international law.

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Gal-On wrote to the Winograd panel several weeks ago, urging an inquiry be made into wartime conduct from the point of view of international law. The Meretz MK said she made the request after soldiers' parents - who had already approached Winograd - asked her to push for an investigation into whether or not there was ethical misconduct during the war.

Gal-On said serious accusations made by human rights organizations, who reported that the IDF committed war crimes and harmed the civilian population of Lebanon, strengthened her conviction that these claims must be probed.

The main accusations focus on the IDF's use of cluster bombs, which it dropped on civilian areas in southern Lebanon. The United Nations says that the unexploded bomblets have killed 30 civilians and injured at least 180 since the war ended last summer.

After the Winograd panel agreed to explore the war crimes allegation, Gal-On told Haaretz, "I think it would be appropriate not to deal only with an examination of tactical and strategic failures, but to also look into the ethical aspects."

During the war in Lebanon, Israel fired thousands of cluster bomblets, using rockets and artillery shells as delivery systems. In each rocket or shell there could be as many as several hundred bomblets, which are meant to disperse and cover an area of hundreds of square meters, exploding as they hit the ground.

According to testimony published in Haaretz, Israel fired at least 1.2 million bomblets through the use of the Multiple Launch System Rocket (MLRS), which can fire up to 12 rockets in 60 seconds. The United Nations estimates that three million such bomblets were fired into Lebanon during the war.

The Haaretz report also revealed that some 80 percent of the bomblets were made in the United States. Preliminary investigations by the U.S. Department verified suspicions that Israel violated an agreement with Washington prohibiting the firing of cluster bombs into population centers.

In response, the U.S. Senate included in its version of the Foreign Aid legislation for 2008 a clause that would restrict Israel's ability to use American military aid to purchase cluster bombs.

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  1.   America to Israel: Naughty, naughty!! 18:35  |  Natallie Durson 24/07/07
  2.   the whole lebanon war was a war crime 19:03  |  chickfool fan 24/07/07
  3.   the most moral army in the world... 19:14  |  ravi 24/07/07
  4.   War is sure an ugly business... 19:16  |  Cynic 24/07/07
  5.   Perhaps a monument for "innocent German civilians" iinstead of Ya 19:21  |  Absolute Sweden 24/07/07
  6.   US Aid Restrictions 19:22  |  Mark of Lewiston 24/07/07
  7.   The only IDF warcrime was the failure to defeat Hezbola bastards! 19:23  |  Feiglin Supporter 24/07/07
  8.   Gay -On should insist Hezbollah be in the commission. 19:31  |  Albert 24/07/07
  9.   Oye vey Winograd...... 19:31  |  Esther 24/07/07
  10.   Avarnu eit Pharaoh , Naavor guam eit Gal-On haramaiite 20:43  |  Joseph E . 24/07/07
  11.   Now let us see Lebanon do the same 21:03  |  Margie in Tel Aviv 24/07/07
  12.   The other shoe drops 21:28  |  Mark Lincoln 24/07/07
  13.   Sauce for the goose 21:33  |  Margie in Tel Aviv 24/07/07
  14.   Gal-on 21:33  |  alan 24/07/07
  15.   Joseph E 21:34  |  A.M. 24/07/07
  16.   #1 Joseph E. 21:38  |  Boycott 24/07/07
  17.   #1 Joseph E: MK Gal-On is not the war criminal here 21:54  |  Ronen 24/07/07
  18.   The outcome will be a whitewash 21:56  |  maoriboy 24/07/07
  19.   What about all the other potential IDF war crimes? 22:08  |  Michael 24/07/07
  20.   Winograds do the right thing 22:10  |  Esther 24/07/07
  21.   Now let us see Lebanon do the same? 22:20  |  mu 24/07/07
  22.   #7 Now let us see Lebanon do the same 22:24  |  Murray of Montreal 24/07/07
  23.   Why Should anyone Be Surprise 22:38  |  Abe 24/07/07
  24.   6 children killed - 68 injured 22:50  |  Anna Maria 24/07/07
  25.   Who cares? 22:51  |  Lavy 24/07/07
  26.   #7 Margie 22:57  |  Marwan 24/07/07
  27.   What about the IAF bombing the UN? 23:15  |  Michael 24/07/07
  28.   To Those Complaining: 23:31  |  Mark 24/07/07
  29.   The World Will Be looking at this Report 23:39  |  Dutch 24/07/07
  30.   #7 Correct except 00:03  |  Joel Weltman 25/07/07
  31.   Maoriboy,how about ANZAC troops war crimes in the service of the 00:08  |  Absolute Sweden 25/07/07
  32.   Where is the Hamas-Fatah war crimes commision? 00:24  |  Genuine Tosefta 25/07/07
  33.   Michael from London,how about those Iraqis tortured to death by 01:06  |  Absolute Sweden 25/07/07
  34.   So what? Everyone will be dead soon. Iran will nuke Israel! 01:06  |  Ethan 25/07/07
  35.   Very important. I hope, it will be real investigation. 01:07  |  Shlomo from Tel Aviv 25/07/07
  36.   #13 Margie in Tel Aviv 01:46  |  Boycott 25/07/07
  37.   #31 Absolute Sweden 01:51  |  maoriboy 25/07/07
  38.   America, the great hypcrite! 01:51  |  Maureen Ann 25/07/07
  39.   THE ONLY CRIME IS NOT ENOUGH HEZBOLLAH WAS KILLED 02:23  |  THE WARRIOR 25/07/07
  40.   To Lavy - so it was the Muslims who killed 6 million Jews then? 02:33  |  Mike 25/07/07
  41.   American Munitions Were Defective, Somehow this is Israel`s Fault 02:36  |  Efox 25/07/07
  42.   re: Michael on Pictures 02:40  |  Efox 25/07/07
  43.   re: Shlomo from Tel Aviv 02:43  |  Efox 25/07/07
  44.   Maureen Ann and the great hypcrites 02:55  |  Joel Weltman 25/07/07
  45.   Anna Maria - Sue the Manufacturer 02:59  |  Mark of Lewiston 25/07/07
  46.   Leaflets dropped while Hezbollah hides among the Innocent 03:21  |  Beth 25/07/07
  47.   Muslim complicity and active participation in the Shoah 03:23  |  Joel Weltman 25/07/07
  48.   Gonna be a short chapter, that one..... 03:58  |  Johnboy 25/07/07
  49.   #41 Efox lays down the law 04:03  |  Johnboy 25/07/07
  50.   The commission 04:13  |  Jayson 25/07/07
  51.   # 15 A.M / #16 Boycott / #17 Ronen 04:58  |  Joseph E . 25/07/07
  52.   who does Gal On work for? 04:59  |  Malshinim 25/07/07
  53.   no civilians 05:37  |  kenk 25/07/07
  54.   re: Johnboy 06:10  |  Efox 25/07/07
  55.   re: Mike 06:13  |  Efox 25/07/07
  56.   re: kenk 06:16  |  Efox 25/07/07
  57.   Boycott 06:43  |  Margie in Tel Aviv 25/07/07
  58.   Marwan 06:44  |  Margie in Tel Aviv 25/07/07
  59.   7..galut and others... 07:51  |  ravi 25/07/07
  60.   #54 Efox - 2nd try to reply 14:00  |  Johnboy 25/07/07
  61.   Finally! Questions worth asking -- and answering 14:28  |  Kol ha-Nevi`im 25/07/07
  62.   While you`re at it 18:13  |  John 25/07/07
  63.   Absolute Sweden 20:13  |  Shana 25/07/07
  64.   Mark of Lewiston 20:52  |  Mark Lincoln 25/07/07
  65.   Weds: UN peacekeeper killed in Lebanon by cluster bomb 21:31  |  English Resident 25/07/07
  66.   38 vs. 1000+ 00:19  |  Ayan 26/07/07
  67.   re: Johnboy 05:52  |  Efox 27/07/07
  68.   re: Ayan 05:54  |  Efox 27/07/07
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