The Israel Defense Forces discovered that there had been “irregularities” in the use of cluster munitions, even before the end of the recent Lebanon war, sources in the defense minister’s office said Monday. As a result of this information, Defense Minister Amir Peretz ordered an “extensive inquiry” into the use of these munitions before the war’s end.
Meanwhile, for the first time Monday, the IDF admitted targeting populated areas with cluster munitions. In a statement released by the IDF Spokesman’s Office, “the use of cluster munitions against built-up areas was done only against military targets where rocket launches against Israel were identified and after taking steps to warn the civilian population.”
The statements released by the minister’s office contradict Israel Defense Forces’ claims – made both during and after the war – regarding the use of cluster munitions.
One IDF version, which remained unchanged until earlier this week, held that the firing of cluster munitions was done in accordance with international law.
On Sunday it was announced that an investigating officer, Brigadier General Michel Ben-Baruch, who was appointed to examine the issue, found that in some cases cluster munitions were used contrary to the orders of Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.
(Continue reading: Haaretz)