The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, issued a press release calling on the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, to be involved in the international efforts to draft a resolution to bar the use of cluster bombs during a conference which will be held in Ireland on May 19.The two groups stated that since the end of the Second Lebanon war, between Hezbollah and Israel, 33 civilians were killed and hundreds were wounded by cluster bombs as Israel dropped nearly 1 Million cluster bombs on Lebanon during the war.
The two groups said “Cluster bombs contain numerous secondary bombs, many of which do not explode. The duds remain on the ground and turn the area into a minefield. Consequently, dropping cluster bombs close to a population center inevitably leads to casualties among civilians who return to their homes after the war. As of January 2008, duds from cluster bombs dropped by Israel during the war still dotted almost 40 square kilometers of southern Lebanon. Since the end of the war, 20 Lebanese civilians, and 13 members of international organizations who were engaged in dismantling the bombs, have been killed. Hundreds of persons have been wounded from the duds”.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel demanded the government to conduct a criminal probe on the use of cluster bombs. The Israeli Winograd Committee, which was formed to probe the war, said in its report that Israel fired cluster bombs into civilian areas in Lebanon and that Israel knew that the civilians who fled their homes during the war would be exposed to harm from the duds after they return.
The two groups added that since Israel extensively used cluster bombs in the Second Lebanon War, it should be involved in drafting the convention and called on Israel not to oppose or ignore the convention.
The use of cluster bombs is considered illegal under international law, as they inevitably harm civilians. The bombs are actually made up of hundreds of 'bomblets', which break apart on impact, spreading bomblets which explode over an area of several kilometers. Despite the fact that the weapon is banned, the Israeli military has called the use of these bombs a "concrete military necessity" in the invasion of Lebanon.
After the war, Lebanese officials and international human rights groups and heads of state have accused Israel of engaging in war crimes during the state's invasion of Lebanon, including the use of banned weapons such as cluster bombs.
Over 1200 Lebanese people were killed during the month-long Israeli invasion, less than 200 of whom were actually engaged in fighting. That means that approximately 85% of the Lebanese casualties were civilians. In contrast, 159 Israelis were killed by Lebanese fighters during the invasion, 40 of whom were civilians. That means that approximately 25% of the Israelis killed were civilians.
During the war, the Israeli military used so much force against the Lebanese people that the well-equipped Israeli military began to run out of weaponry, and appealed to its ally, the USA, for more.
The US government quickly shipped over thousands more cluster bombs, which were immediately used by the Israeli military in Lebanon. The US State Department later came out with a statement that the cluster bombs sent by the US to Israel were likely misused to target civilians.