Israeli army disobeyed order not to use cluster bombs: TV

Date: 11-19-06

JERUSALEM (AFP) - The Israeli army disobeyed an order from its chief of staff and used cluster bombs in its summer war on the militia of Lebanon's Shiite group Hezbollah, public television said.

The television, which did not give a source, said an enquiry had been ordered into why thousands of the bombs had been used despite a prohibition by Lieutenant General Dan Halutz.

For its part, the Internet site of the Yediot Aharonot daily said an initial probe by the army had determined that Israeli artillery used the munitions contrary to a ban by Halutz.

It was not clear from either report whether this was a blanket ban on the use of cluster bombs in any conflict, or just in the 34-day war against Hezbollah.

Since the August 14 end to the campaign, 23 people have been killed and another 136 injured in Lebanon after stepping on or handling unexploded components of cluster bombs, according to an AFP count.

Thousands of the bombs, which contain dozens of smaller explosive devices that spread over a wide area, were dropped on south Lebanon during the conflict.


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