Eitan Barak


Israel's extensive use of the Cluster Munitions in the 2006 Lebanon War provided a major impetus for drafting the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). Israel, blamed for severe humanitarian post-conflict harm to civilians in South Lebanon, simultaneously faced an extensive diplomatic entanglement with the U.S. based on suspicions that Israel had violated U.S. legislation as well as a classified bilateral end-use agreement specifying the conditions of use of U.S.-made CMs. Relying on numerous sources, especially the recent declassified (June 2008) IDF's Military Advocate General's legal opinion into whether Israel's CM use complied with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the 2008 Israel's Inquiry Commission into the 2006 War final report, this Article lists seven intriguing lessons learned from that War regarding the legality of CM under IHL. These lessons also highlight the fundamental differences in the approaches taken by CCM supporters vis-á-vis the U.S. and other major CM stockpilers, which hold that restricting and regulating the use of CMs (through adopting a new Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons) is sufficient to avoid future harm to civilians from these weapons. Beyond the legality issue, this Article draws conclusions to the Protocol's fragility and, importantly, to the CCM's necessity

Recommended Citation

Barak, Eitan. “None to Be Trusted: Israel's Use of Cluster Munitions in the Second Lebanon War and the Case for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.” American University International Law Review 25, no.3 (2010): 423-483.