Letter to the Chairman from the Ambassador's
Office, Embassy of Israel
Thank you for your letter of 21 June, I am pleased
to hear you so enjoyed your visit to Israel.
We consider the use of cluster munitions in
the war against Hizballah last summer as a legitimate exercising
of our right to self-defence in response to Hizballah's acts of
aggression and grave violations of Israeli sovereignty. Hizballah's
actions included, inter alia, attacking Israeli servicemen and
abducting two of them, and the launching of over 4000 missiles
from southern Lebanon onto Israeli civilian population centres.
Hizballah also chose to establish itself and its arms caches among
civilians and within the civilian infrastructure, effectively
turning ordinary Lebanese into human shields.
The Israeli use of cluster munitions was in
full compliance with international lawspecifically the
principles of military necessity and proportionality. Cluster
munitions were directed at rocket and missile launching sites.
In most cases they were fired at open areas. In those cases where
they were fired against targets located near or within built-up
areas, this was carried out with the utmost caution so as to prevent
civilian casualties, often costing our forces the element of surprise.
Such measures included the dispersal of millions of fliers in
Arabic from the air, the broadcasting of warming messages on the
Al-Mashrek radio station and the delivery of thousands of recorded
voices messages to our telephones.
Last but not least, we want to emphasise that,
following the cessation of hostilities, Israel voluntarily handed
over to UNIFIL operational maps of areas suspected of containing
unexploded ordnance, including cluster munitions. In turn, UNIFIL
passed on the maps to the Lebanese army.
I hope you will find this information helpful.
Ambassador of Israel
2 July 2007