As Israeli troops continue their withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Defense Minister Amir Peretz has called for an investigation of Israeli actions during the war, amidst widespread allegations of war crimes by the Israeli army.
But many Israeli parliamentarians have criticized Peretz’s involvement in the selection of committee members, saying that his involvement in the invasion forms a conflict of interest.
"It’s not right that a minister who is situated among the decision-makers in time of war would be the one to nominate members of an inquiry to investigate [the war]," Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On said.
The General who headed up the Lebanon invasion, Dan Halutz, was replaced by a proxy during the last week of fighting, leading many to speculate that Halutz’s botching of the invasion would lead to his resignation.
And among the Israeli public, there is widespread criticism of the Israeli military’s performance in the war. A poll taken yesterday by Israel’s largest polling agency found that only 3% of Israelis believe that the military achieved its objectives in Lebanon.
Mohammed Baraka, an Israeli Parliament Member, said in an interview with the IMEMC, "The Israeli government decided to involve civilians in this war in an unprecedented way. The fact that nearly one million Lebanese had to flee their homes as refugees, and the fact that more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed by the Israeli aggression, and the fact that there was a massive attack on the infrastructure of Lebanon – all of this clearly indicates that Israel chose to target civilians."
According to Lebanese government counts, 90% of the Lebanese casualties in the war were civilians. Human Rights Watch has accused Israeli forces of directly targeting civilians in the war, and a top Israeli general admitted to the New York Times on July 27th that Israeli forces were using cluster bombs in Lebanon, bombs which scatter shrapnel in every direction upon impact and are known to increase civilian casualties.