1/24/09

Isreal Admits Using White Phosphorous in Gaza

The Times is reporting that Israel now admits to using white phosphorous in areas densely populated with civilians:
“Yes, phosphorus was used but not in any illegal manner,” Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told The Times. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is holding an investigation concerning one specific incident.”

The incident in question is thought to be the firing of phosphorus shells at a UN school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on January 17. The weapon is legal if used as a smokescreen in battle but it is banned from deployment in civilian areas.
For context, the U.S. also used white phosphorous as an incendiary device in Falluja, but never directly against civilians.

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