Jan 12, 2009

World - Israel used white phosphorous explosives

Atul Aneja

DUBAI: Doctors in Gaza are reporting that at least 55 persons have been injured on Sunday due to exposure to burning white phosphorous used in shells fired by the Israeli military forces.

“These people were burned over their bodies in a way that can only be caused by white phosphorous,” AFP quoted Yusef Abu Rish, a doctor at Gaza City’s Nasser hospital.

International law bans the use of white phosphorous against civilians. However, its use is permitted during combat to create smokescreens.

The chemical causes severe burns which are difficult to treat especially if particles get embedded into the skin.

Earlier, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Israeli forces of using white phosphorus in its on-going operations in Gaza.

The New York-based rights group said in a statement that its researchers in Israel observed that Israeli forces fired multiple artillery air-bursts of white phosphorous on January 9 and January 10 at the Jabalya refugee camp and near Gaza city.

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