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Israeli leadership faulted by own troops over Lebanon conduct

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Israeli leadership faulted by own troops over Lebanon conduct


As Israeli troops return to their side of the border, reservists have published an open letter accusing their leaders of handling of the war in Lebanon badly, and calling for a broad investigation of their actions. The letter raised questions about the failure to knock out Hizbollah in Lebanon or prevent the guerrilla group from firing nearly 4,000 missiles into Israel. On the seventh day of the UN ceasefire, wrangling among countries expected to send peacekeeping troops has so far delayed assembly of the force.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called for Italy to lead the force, as has his Lebanese counterpart, Fouad Siniora. Olmert rejected Muslim countries that do not have diplomatic ties with Israel – Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh have offered front-line troops to police the border.

Meanwhile, more and more villagers returning to southern Lebanon are in danger from unexploded Israeli bombs. The UN mine action service reported many incidents, including the death of a child in Tyre. Lebanese police also reported other civilian deaths and wounding caused by leftover cluster bombs, which have a particularly high failure rate.

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