The final draft of the Winograd Commission's report on the Second Lebanon War, expected this fall, will address Israel's behavior with reference to international law, according to a letter from the committee's chairman to Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On (Meretz).
In June, Gal-On petitioned Judge Winograd to "investigate violations of international law by Israel during the Second Lebanon War… following harsh claims by many sources, including human rights groups in Israel, alleging war crimes and harm to the Lebanese population."
In May, Amnesty International published a report claiming that Israel committed “serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes" during the war last summer, noting the large number of Lebanese casualties and, particularly, Israel's use of cluster bombs.
Gal-On added that, in recent months, she had been approached by a number of soldiers who expressed distress over violations in the IDF's ethical code and by families who drew her attention to the damage incurred by Lebanese civilians.
Winograd responded five days after receiving Gal-On's letter, writing, "The commission is examining a wide range of materials, in order to decide on which issues to focus.
"Among them, it is considering petitions from the public… to examine the war in terms of international law, and the final report will include this topic."
Sources following the commission's progress said that the issue is being examined from a number of angles.
"Among other things, the commission is looking at harm caused to civilians, use of cluster bombs, ecological damage, bombardment of civilian infrastructure and violations of the IDF's ethical code," they said.
After receiving this letter, Gal-On told Ynet, "The intermediary report did not contain the commission's censure for what was done during the war to the Lebanese civilian population, in terms of destruction of infrastructure, ecological damage, and use of cluster bombs.
"But now the commission said it would weigh not only tactical questions but also the ethical on the soldiers and the civilians in Lebanon," she said.