Guardian story on removal of cluster bombs in Lebanon includes patently false charge against Israel

The Guardian’s report on efforts by the Lebanese to remove unexploded munitions from the 2006 war with Israel, I feel like I’ve saved a life: The women clearing Lebanon of cluster bombs, Aug 12, contains the following accusation:

Their painstaking task became necessary five years ago this week, afterIsrael rained cluster munitions on southern Lebanon to a degree the UN condemned as a “flagrant violation of international law“. [emphasis mine]

Yet, a review of the UN Human Rights Council Report the passage links to, “IMPLEMENTATION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 60/251  OF 15 MARCH 2006 ENTITLED “HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL”, makes no such claim.

The report – by the UN body composed of largely of totalitarian regimes hostile to Israel’s existence, and responsible for an egregiously disproportionate number of reports critical of Israel – does, not surprisingly, indeed accuse the IDF of violations of international law during the 2nd Lebanon War but, regarding the use of cluster munitions, it concludes that:

“None of the weapons known to have been used by IDF are illegal per se under international humanitarian law. The manner in which these weapons were used raises questions regarding distinction and proportionality.”

So, the allegation that the UN characterized the IDF’s use of cluster munitions as “a flagrant violation of international law” seems to be unambiguously inaccurate.

I just emailed the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor to seek a correction, and will, of course, let you know when he responds.

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