necessarily constitute a violation. The use of incendiary weapons in civilian areas is proscribed by conventions. The Geneva Treaty of 1980 stipulates that white phosphorus should not be used as a weapon of war in civilian areas, but there is no blanket ban under international law on its use as a smokescreen or for illumination. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. The non-lethal nature of smoke screens when compared to the effect of explosive munitions was particularly important, given that Hamas and other terrorist organisations sought to blend in with the civilian population, making it difficult or impossible to use explosive munitions without inflicting substantial civilian casualties. Phosphorus has many shapes, forms, and uses as we’ve stated previously in our article on the topic of a possible looming phosphorous shortage.Though not all forms of phosphorus are harmful, we’ll be focusing on a nefarious form of phosphorus: white phosphorus. International watchdogs are calling the Israeli use of white phosphorus shells in Gaza a "war crime." In particular, Amnesty International criticizes the manner in which Israel deployed the shells. This method (as opposed to the use of contact fuses), is consistent with the use of the projectiles for smoke-screening purposes only. Second, the use of felt wedges soaked in white phosphorous tends to further reduce dispersal of the substance and its incendiary side effects as compared to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous. Israeli white phosphorus munitions strike a UN school, 17 Jan 2009 (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images) Forensic Architecture (FA) was commissioned by the human rights group Yesh-Gvul to analyse the general features of white phosphorus munitions. There is no evidence that Israel intentionally used white phosphorus as an anti-personnel incendiary weapon, but Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claim that Israel was reckless and showed wanton disregard for innocent life by using it in densely populated regions where civilians could be harmed by it. Rain of Fire Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza I. In other words, while Amnesty International claims air-bursting impregnated filaments showed flagrant disregard for the safety of civilians, Israel claims just the opposite is the case. If burning white phosphorus lands on a person's skin, it can go through to the bone. Israel has insisted that its use of white phosphorus in the conflict was permitted under international law and that it sought to avoid unnecessary civilian deaths in Gaza. Browse more videos. The Israeli report discusses several incidents involving the use of white phosphorus near hospitals and schools where it claims Hamas fighters and rocket teams were engaging Israeli forces from within or in close proximity of these civilian sites. It was launched from artillery shells in air-burst mode, which aggravated already devastating consequences of the attacks. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. In particular, Amnesty International criticizes the manner in which Israel deployed the shells. The tetrahedral arrangement results in ring strain and instability. Artillery in general and white phosphorus in particular should never be used in populated areas. The Israeli report also contradicts Amnesty International’s assertion that “Israeli forces continued to employ the same tactics for the entire duration of the 22 day offensive.” Israel stated that it changed the protocol for using the weapon after a Jan. 15 incident: … after reports of an incident on 15 January 2009 during combat in Tel al-Hawa in which white phosphorous smoke projectiles set fire to a UNRWA warehouse, an IDF directive was issued, effective through the end of the Gaza Operation, establishing a safety buffer of several hundred metres from sensitive sites when using smoke projectiles. The Israeli response, The Operation in Gaza, Factual and Legal Aspects, published on July 29, 2009, provides a rebuttal to the charges lodged by Amnesty International and others. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. Three years ago, Israel promised to draw up new rules on the use of shells containing white phosphorus, in the wake of the Gaza war. When the carbon disulfide evaporated, the phosphorus would burst into flames, and probably also ignite the highly flammable carbon disulfide fumes. Israel has argued that use of the shell was in line with international law and that since it was not a traditional white phosphorus incendiary weapon it could be used in populated areas. The Amnesty International report either denies that fighters were present or argues that the presence of fighters among the civilians obligates Israel to refrain from using indiscriminate weapons. The restrictions on the use of incendiary weapons under Protocol III (relating to Incendiary Weapons) to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (“CCW Protocol III”) does not apply to weapons whose intended purpose is to create smoke screens. It concludes that the “scope of casualties and damage” resulting from their use was “relatively limited compared to the significant military advantage gained by smoke-screening.” Israel’s line of argument is consonant with the fact sheet of the American Federation of Scientists which allows that if structures catch fire inadvertently, that does not On January 22, 2009 the New York Times reported. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. As a weapon, white phosphorus is used to mark enemy targets and to produce smoke for concealing troop movements. By: Steven Stotsky. À cette occasion le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge a donné un aperçu des règles applicables aux armes au phosphore et expliqué la position du CICR, sans confirmer l’utilisation d’armes au phosphore blanc par Israël à Gaza [28]. Playing next. The molecule is described as consisting of six single P–P bonds. … The report gives short shrift to Israeli rebuttals of the charge, leaving the impression that the accusations, down to the details, are established fact. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. To review the actual reports see the links below: The Israeli Report of July 29, 2009 The Amnesty International Report July 2009 For more information on Amnesty International’s history of charging Israel with crimes review NGO Monitor. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. The cases investigated by Amnesty International of deaths and injuries to civilians caused by white phosphorus indicate that Israeli forces violated the prohibition on indiscriminate attack. It can also be used as an incendiary device against enemy positions. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. Third, the smoke projectiles were employed using delay fuses which release the felt components of the projectile at a distance of at least 100 metres above the ground. However, neither of these alternatives provides the same military advantages… Targeting the munitions at the ground rather than exploding them high in the air would fail to achieve the area of dispersal required for military purposes and would actually result in much more severe damage to buildings and persons on the ground. First, the munitions were used only for the purpose for which they were designed, i.e. The non-lethal nature of smoke screens when compared to the effect of explosive munitions was particularly important, given that Hamas and other terrorist organisations sought to blend in with the civilian population, making it difficult or impossible to use explosive munitions without inflicting substantial civilian casualties. The Israeli report addresses this question: …In the case of smoke munitions containing white phosphorous, the expected military benefit was that they would protect Israeli forces from attack: a compelling military objective. Israel acknowledges that civilians may have been harmed by the munition although it questions the reliability of such reports, stating that “There appears to be insufficient evidence to conclude that white phosphorous caused extensive injuries to civilians in the course of the Gaza Operation.” While acknowledging that some civilian structures may have caught fire as a result of the shells, it notes that out of thousands of these projectiles fired, each containing 116 wedges, the damage was not excessive. HRW issues new report about white phosphorus Israel used in 2009 - without mentioning it stopped using it in 2013 Human Rights Watch just issued a 45-page report on the use of white phosphorus and how it can injure people if not used correctly. 0:32. He monitors news coverage, academic studies, school curriculum about Israel and documentaries on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Amnesty International report either denies that fighters were present or argues that the presence of fighters among the civilians obligates Israel to refrain from using indiscriminate weapons. This difference in tone and process between Israeli investigations and the reports issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has been evident after every round of conflict between Israel and its enemies. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. At the moment that the bombing of the school started I was in a classroom with my children. Rights groups condemned Israel's use of white phosphorus during the Gaza conflict because of its severely harmful effects on civilians. The following research article … The new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? Claims made in the Amnesty International report that witnesses saw no Hamas fighters in an area that was hit by white phosphorus are of dubious credibility considering the control Hamas still exerts over Gazans. The Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. First, the munitions were used only for the purpose for which they were designed, i.e. To review the actual reports see the links below: The Israeli Report of July 29, 2009 The Amnesty International Report July 2009 For more information on Amnesty International’s history of charging Israel with crimes review NGO Monitor. However, neither of these alternatives provides the same military advantages… Targeting the munitions at the ground rather than exploding them high in the air would fail to achieve the area of dispersal required for military purposes and would actually result in much more severe damage to buildings and persons on the ground. Israel acknowledges that civilians may have been harmed by the munition although it questions the reliability of such reports, stating that “There appears to be insufficient evidence to conclude that white phosphorous caused extensive injuries to civilians in the course of the Gaza Operation.” While acknowledging that some civilian structures may have caught fire as a result of the shells, it notes that out of thousands of these projectiles fired, each containing 116 wedges, the damage was not excessive. The new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? Mark Regev, Israeli government spokesperson, says that Israel has been cleared by the IRC. Each shell ejected over a hundred felt wedges impredgnated with highly incendiary white phosphorus, which rained down over houses and streets…. The Amnesty International report either denies that fighters were present or argues that the presence of fighters among the civilians obligates Israel to refrain from using indiscriminate weapons. This difference in tone and process between Israeli investigations and the reports issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has been evident after every round of conflict between Israel and its enemies. Third, the smoke projectiles were employed using delay fuses which release the felt components of the projectile at a distance of at least 100 metres above the ground. British soldiers also made extensive use of phosphorus grenades during the Falklands conflictto destroy Argentine positions as the peaty soil they were constructed from tended to lessen the … to create smoke screens, rather than to attack personnel or destroy buildings, purposes for which IDF has a variety of more effective munitions. The web site contains no further update to this original statement. This distinction is crucial, because if the shells are not incendiaries but only smoke screen projectiles, then the indiscriminate charge becomes less relevant since smoke screen agents are by definition not targeted weapons. This is not the first time Israel has been accused of using phosphorous bombs in crowded civilian areas in Gaza. The Gaza Strip also borders Egypt, which severely restricts movement in and out of the territory. The non-lethal nature of smoke screens when compared to the effect of explosive munitions was particularly important, given that Hamas and other terrorist organisations sought to blend in with the civilian population, making it difficult or impossible to use explosive munitions without inflicting substantial civilian casualties. The rest of this report looks at charges lodged by Amnesty International, in its July, 2009 report and Israel’s response to these charges that was published on July 29, 2009. To review the actual reports see the links below: Stay up to date by following us on social media: Did Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus Constitute a War Crime? The Israeli response, The Operation in Gaza, Factual and Legal Aspects, published on July 29, 2009, provides a rebuttal to the charges lodged by Amnesty International and others. Furthermore, air-bursting the munitions at a considerable distance above ground meant that it was less likely that any person or building would be harmed by the explosions. His analyses have appeared in journals, magazines, newspapers and online news sites, including Time Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, American Thinker, Algemeiner and the Jewish Advocate. The Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. White Phosphorus… was repeatedly fired indiscriminately over densely populated residential areas, killing and wounding civilians…. The Israeli report takes the opposite view stating: Some have suggested that IDF could have used less harmful munitions, or used the munitions in a less harmful manner, to achieve the same military objective, for example, by using smoke munitions without white phosphorous or by firing the munitions as ground-burst rather than air-burst projectiles. As in past cases, these most recent charges received ample coverage in the media. White phosphorus is believed to have been first used by Fenian arsonists in the 19th century in the form of a solution in carbon disulfide. The IRC web site published a statement on Jan. 17, 2009 in which it states that it has not determined whether Israel’s use of white phosphorus was legal or not. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. Its effects however can be extremely harmful. I heard Ansam cry ‘I am wounded in my head’. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. A Palestinian man suffering from burns consistent with white phosphorus after Israel's 2009 attack on Gaza City. To review the actual reports see the links below: The Israeli Report of July 29, 2009 The Amnesty International Report July 2009 For more information on Amnesty International’s history of charging Israel with crimes review NGO Monitor. The Israeli report discusses several incidents involving the use of white phosphorus near hospitals and schools where it claims Hamas fighters and rocket teams were engaging Israeli forces from within or in close proximity of these civilian sites. The NHS is ready to use the initial 800,000 doses when they arrive, the health secretary says. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. Steve Stotsky is a senior research analyst at CAMERA. Claims made in the Amnesty International report that witnesses saw no Hamas fighters in an area that was hit by white phosphorus are of dubious credibility considering the control Hamas still exerts over Gazans. It was launched from artillery shells in air-burst mode, which aggravated already devastating consequences of the attacks. It says shells will be replaced with types based completely on gas, which will create the same effect. © 2020 BBC. It criticizes the use of airbursts to disseminate the white phosphorus. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. Stotsky lectures widely about Middle East media coverage and was interviewed on CNN about the topic. Second, the use of felt wedges soaked in white phosphorous tends to further reduce dispersal of the substance and its incendiary side effects as compared to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous. The Israeli report takes the opposite view stating: Some have suggested that IDF could have used less harmful munitions, or used the munitions in a less harmful manner, to achieve the same military objective, for example, by using smoke munitions without white phosphorous or by firing the munitions as ground-burst rather than air-burst projectiles. The Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the group took control of the enclave, but reached a tentative truce in late 2018 that was renewed after successive flare-ups last year. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. Part of a UN compound burned down after it was hit by chunks of the burning chemical which ignites on contact with air. VideoThe new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? WP White Phosphorus over Gaza ? The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. During these aggressive wars, the Israeli military used a number of American-made forbidden weapons: White Phosphorus, GBU-39 Shells, DIME bombs, Flechette Shells, Vacuum bombs, and Scandium 64 Aerosol. You saw for yourself: The felt wedges of white phosphorus smoke shells are often harmless ashes even before they hit the ground. Second, the use of felt wedges soaked in white phosphorous tends to further reduce dispersal of the substance and its incendiary side effects as compared to exploding munitions containing white phosphorous. In other words, while Amnesty International claims air-bursting impregnated filaments showed flagrant disregard for the safety of civilians, Israel claims just the opposite is the case. Toxic phosphoric acid can also be released into wounds, risking phosphorus poisoning. Israel however, defines these types of shells as “smoke projectiles” and not as “exploding” munitions or incendiaries and therefore finds their use permissible under normal conventions. Smoke obscurants containing white phosphorous were not used for targeting purposes and are not intended as anti-personnel weapon they cannot be classified as an indiscriminate weapon; otherwise, any smoke-screening means would be prohibited, in contrast to the well-established practice of militaries worldwide The Amnesty International report does not pursue this argument, focusing instead on the use of these devices in densely populated areas: …in Gaza Israeli forces repeatedly fired them into densely populated residential areas, knowing that such imprecise weapons would kill and injure civilians. camouflaging armoured forces from anti-tank squads deployed by Hamas in Gaza’s urban areas), and were not aimed at civilians…. On page 2 it states: White Phosphorus… was repeatedly fired indiscriminately over densely populated residential areas, killing and wounding civilians…. The analysis would form part of a civil society effort to demand the prohibition of the weapon. It concludes that the “scope of casualties and damage” resulting from their use was “relatively limited compared to the significant military advantage gained by smoke-screening.” Israel’s line of argument is consonant with the fact sheet of the American Federation of Scientists which allows that if structures catch fire inadvertently, that does not Ashkenazi announces IDF commision of inquiry to determine whether white phosophorus has been used. Against this objective, one must weigh the anticipated risk of harm to civilians and property from the use of smoke munitions, which are designed to be a non-lethal type of munition. White phosphorus munitions were used extensively in Korea, Vietnam and later by Russian forces in First Chechen War and Second Chechen War. Yet in Gaza Israeli forces repeatedly fired them into densely populated residential areas, knowing that such imprecise weapons would kill and injure civilians. On 17 January 2009 the Israeli army bombed the school building with white phosphorus shells. Skip to content. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Israeli army 'using white phosphorus' - 12 Jan 08 - YouTube But-but-but what about this? Israel has admitted for the first time to “using munitions containing white phosphorus” during its offensive on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. The charge against American troops received extensive publicity after an Italian documentary film, “The Hidden Massacre” claimed that white phosphorus was used not only as a smoke system but also as an incendiary anti-personnel weapon. Both organizations habitually charge Israel with war crimes after major military operations. The American Federation of Scientists. necessarily constitute a violation. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. It concludes that the “scope of casualties and damage” resulting from their use was “relatively limited compared to the significant military advantage gained by smoke-screening.” Israel’s line of argument is consonant with the fact sheet of the American Federation of Scientists which allows that if structures catch fire inadvertently, that does not The Amnesty International report expresses full confidence in its accusations even though the evidence is controversial and the credibility of witness testimonies questionable under existing circumstances. Phosphorus bombs can be used to create smoke screens, but their use as weapons of war in civilian areas is banned by the Geneva Conventions. White phosphorus causes very painful and often lethal chemical burns to those hit by it, and until recently Israel maintained that it only uses such bombs to … Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. This method (as opposed to the use of contact fuses), is consistent with the use of the projectiles for smoke-screening purposes only. The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. While it may be tempting for critics of Israel’s military operation to discount the rebuttal offered by Israel, the longstanding bias against Israel exhibited by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch does not offer an objective source to examine the facts. There is no evidence that Israel intentionally used white phosphorus as an anti-personnel incendiary weapon, but Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch claim that Israel was reckless and showed wanton disregard for innocent life by using it in densely populated regions where civilians could be harmed by it. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. The Amnesty International report expresses full confidence in its accusations even though the evidence is controversial and the credibility of witness testimonies questionable under existing circumstances. Most of the Israeli military's white phosphorus in Gaza was fired in 155mm artillery shells, each containing 116 wedges soaked with the chemical. Furthermore, air-bursting the munitions at a considerable distance above ground meant that it was less likely that any person or building would be harmed by the explosions. Amnesty International acknowledges that “using white phosphorus as an obscurant is not forbidden under international law…” Both sides agree on the type of shells Israel used and that they were airbursted high in the air. Claims made in the Amnesty International report that witnesses saw no Hamas fighters in an area that was hit by white phosphorus are of dubious credibility considering the control Hamas still exerts over Gazans. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. In January, the … The Israeli military said the existing shells contained "minimal amounts" of white phosphorus, and would be "removed from active duty soon". to create smoke screens, rather than to attack personnel or destroy buildings, purposes for which IDF has a variety of more effective munitions. The Israeli report discusses several incidents involving the use of white phosphorus near hospitals and schools where it claims Hamas fighters and rocket teams were engaging Israeli forces from within or in close proximity of these civilian sites. Targeting the munitions at the ground rather than exploding them high in the air would fail to achieve the area of dispersal required for military purposes and would actually result in much more severe damage to buildings and persons on the ground. It further asserts that military necessity required its use in densely populated areas, because this is where Hamas fighters congregated and threatened Israeli troops. During the offensive, Israel used white phosphorus rounds in densely populated areas, the UN and Human Rights Watch said. Israel acknowledges that civilians may have been harmed by the munition although it questions the reliability of such reports, stating that “There appears to be insufficient evidence to conclude that white phosphorous caused extensive injuries to civilians in the course of the Gaza Operation.” While acknowledging that some civilian structures may have caught fire as a result of the shells, it notes that out of thousands of these projectiles fired, each containing 116 wedges, the damage was not excessive. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. IRC denies this. The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. Amnesty International followed up this accusation in its July report titled, Israel/Gaza: Operation “Cast Lead”: 22 days of death and destruction. While it may be tempting for critics of Israel’s military operation to discount the rebuttal offered by Israel, the longstanding bias against Israel exhibited by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch does not offer an objective source to examine the facts. The Amnesty International Report July 2009, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis, Ignited white phosphorus is used to create a smoke screen to conceal the movement of ground troops. Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli incursion into Gaza from Dec. 27, 2008 to Jan. 18, 2009, prompted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, two prominent human rights groups, to accuse Israel of committing war crimes. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. This difference in tone and process between Israeli investigations and the reports issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has been evident after every round of conflict between Israel and its enemies. Skip to search - Accesskey = s. Israel-Palestine News Compiler . The non-lethal nature of smoke screens when compared to the effect of explosive munitions was particularly important, given that Hamas and other terrorist organisations sought to blend in with the civilian population, making it difficult or impossible to use explosive munitions without inflicting substantial civilian casualties. Report. While the report claims to be about "incendiary weapons," it exclusively discusses white phosphorus. Two different crystalline forms are known. Yet in Gaza Israeli forces repeatedly fired them into densely populated residential areas, knowing that such imprecise weapons would kill and injure civilians. The Israeli report also contradicts Amnesty International’s assertion that “Israeli forces continued to employ the same tactics for the entire duration of the 22 day offensive.” Israel stated that it changed the protocol for using the weapon after a Jan. 15 incident: … after reports of an incident on 15 January 2009 during combat in Tel al-Hawa in which white phosphorous smoke projectiles set fire to a UNRWA warehouse, an IDF directive was issued, effective through the end of the Gaza Operation, establishing a safety buffer of several hundred metres from sensitive sites when using smoke projectiles. Used in this way in open areas, it is not considered an incendiary or anti-personnel weapon and is not subject to the restrictions that apply to incendiary weapons. 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Israel claims that it used white phosphorus strictly according to accepted practices and took measures to minimize civilians casualties. Article I further expressly excludes from its purview munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. Greenslade Times vindicated over Israel's use of white phosphorus in Gaza The Times has been vindicated for running stories about the use by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) of white phophorus. This mixture was known as \"Fenian fire\" and allegedly was used by disgruntled itinerant workers in Australia to cause delayed destru… The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. International law restricts the use of white phosphorus during war. 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A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. Israel acknowledges that civilians may have been harmed by the munition although it questions the reliability of such reports, stating that “There appears to be insufficient evidence to conclude that white phosphorous caused extensive injuries to civilians in the course of the Gaza Operation.” While acknowledging that some civilian structures may have caught fire as a result of the shells, it notes that out of thousands of these projectiles fired, each containing 116 wedges, the damage was not excessive. Posts about White Phosphorus written by beyondtheborder. Le Hamas a lancé des bombes au phosphore depuis la bande de Gaza vers Israël en 2010 [26], [27]. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. Video. The Amnesty International report expresses full confidence in its accusations even though the evidence is controversial and the credibility of witness testimonies questionable under existing circumstances. The second and main type of munitions containing white phosphorous employed by the IDF during the Gaza Operation was smoke screening projectiles.These shells contained relatively small amounts of white phosphorous and were used exclusively to create smoke screens for military requirements, such as camouflaging armoured forces from anti-tank squads deployed by Hamas in Gaza’s urban areas. S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice. The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the three-week conflict. Israel's army said Thursday that it would soon halt its use of white phosphorus shells after years of international criticism for using the incendiary munitions in crowded Palestinian areas. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. Amnesty International apparently disagrees, stating: International humanitarian law prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilians. The Israeli report discusses several incidents involving the use of white phosphorus near hospitals and schools where it claims Hamas fighters and rocket teams were engaging Israeli forces from within or in close proximity of these civilian sites. This difference in tone and process between Israeli investigations and the reports issued by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch has been evident after every round of conflict between Israel and its enemies. Palestinian media reported Tuesday night the detonation of white phosphorous bombs to illuminate the sky over the Gaza Strip as Israel Air Force jets were reportedly flying overhead. This analysis examines Amnesty International’s charge that Israel’s use of white phosphorus was illegal. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. 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One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. As the Israeli reports points out, Some have suggested that IDF could have used less harmful munitions, or used the munitions in a less harmful manner, to achieve the same military objective, for example, by using smoke munitions without white phosphorous or by firing the munitions as ground-burst rather than air-burst projectiles. M110A1 155mm White Phosphorus (WP) Projectile. The accusations against Israel are similar to those lodged against American troops fighting in Fallujah in 2004. “Experiencing the attack on the school was more difficult for me than the attack on the house. necessarily constitute a violation. April 22. While it may be tempting for critics of Israel’s military operation to discount the rebuttal offered by Israel, the longstanding bias against Israel exhibited by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch does not offer an objective source to examine the facts. The Times first accused Israeli forces of using white phosphorus on January 5, but the IDF has denied the charge repeatedly. found “indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north.” In a statement, it said its investigators “saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still-burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli Army.” It called such use a likely war crime and demanded a full international investigation. Posted in 1 by beyondtheborder on August 24, 2009 War crime suspect Lt. Col. David Benjamin is thought to be behind Israel's use of white phosphorous against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Claims made in the Amnesty International report that witnesses saw no Hamas fighters in an area that was hit by white phosphorus are of dubious credibility considering the control Hamas still exerts over Gazans. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. Israel of recklessly using white phosphorus after Israel 's use of white phosphorus in...., Vietnam and later by Russian forces in first Chechen war and second war! Those lodged against American troops fighting in Fallujah in 2004 not responsible for the purpose for they. Phosphorus smoke shells were used in built-up areas of the charges against involves! It states: white Phosphorus… was repeatedly fired them into densely populated residential areas, the munitions were only... Was dark the three-week conflict crowded civilian areas is proscribed by conventions hundred felt wedges of white and... 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