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. … A protocol to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons bans the use of white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against civilian populations or in air attacks against enemy forces in civilian areas. The Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. However, neither of these alternatives provides the same military advantages…. It says shells will be replaced with types based completely on gas, which will create the same effect. In particular, Amnesty International criticizes the manner in which Israel deployed the shells. 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. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. Skip to content. 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. Amnesty International apparently disagrees, stating: International humanitarian law prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against civilians. (Jerusalem) - Israel's repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. 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. 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. The bombing started around 5:00am and it was dark. But-but-but what about this? This is not the first time Israel has been accused of using phosphorous bombs in crowded civilian areas in Gaza. 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. 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 discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. 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. OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images. The Israeli military said the existing shells contained "minimal amounts" of white phosphorus, and would be "removed from active duty soon". 'No corners cut' in vaccine approval, regulator says, 'One boy stood out to me - he's now my son', 'I wake up wondering if I still have a job', Why it feels like a government without a majority, 'We've lost a day of trade' over lockdown end date. The tetrahedral arrangement results in ring strain and instability. This mixture was known as \"Fenian fire\" and allegedly was used by disgruntled itinerant workers in Australia to cause delayed destru… 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. 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. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. First, the munitions were used only for the purpose for which they were designed, i.e. 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. 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. While the report claims to be about "incendiary weapons," it exclusively discusses white phosphorus. 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. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. 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. 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. At the moment that the bombing of the school started I was in a classroom with my children. 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. 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. 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. The Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. On January 22, 2009 the New York Times reported. 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. 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. 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. necessarily constitute a violation. 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. 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. 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 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. First, the munitions were used only for the purpose for which they were designed, i.e. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. 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. Amnesty International has also produced a film clip accusing Israel of recklessly using white phosphorus. 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. The molecule is described as consisting of six single P–P bonds. 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. necessarily constitute a violation. Each shell ejected over a hundred felt wedges impredgnated with highly incendiary white phosphorus, which rained down over houses and streets…. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. During the offensive, Israel used white phosphorus rounds in densely populated areas, the UN and Human Rights Watch said. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. The use of incendiary weapons in civilian areas is proscribed by conventions. 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. By: Steven Stotsky. 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 Israeli report also discusses in detail the Tel al-Hawa school incident in which white phosphorus filaments apparently set fire to civilian structures. camouflaging armoured forces from anti-tank squads deployed by Hamas in Gaza’s urban areas), and were not aimed at civilians…. 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. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. 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 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. 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]. Most of the Israeli military's white phosphorus in Gaza was fired in 155mm artillery shells, each containing 116 wedges soaked with the chemical. 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. S. Africa: War crime suspects must think twice. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. 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. 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. 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 Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. 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. It criticizes the use of airbursts to disseminate the white phosphorus. 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. No exploding munitions containing white phosphorous were used in built-up areas of the Gaza Strip. 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. 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. A look at the criticism and legal status of white phosphorus use in warfare. On page 2 it states: White Phosphorus… was repeatedly fired indiscriminately over densely populated residential areas, killing and wounding civilians…. Skip to search - Accesskey = s. Israel-Palestine News Compiler . Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. M110A1 155mm White Phosphorus (WP) Projectile. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. to create smoke screens, rather than to attack personnel or destroy buildings, purposes for which IDF has a variety of more effective munitions. IRC denies this. First, the munitions were used only for the purpose for which they were designed, i.e. 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. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. 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. 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 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 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. to create smoke screens, rather than to attack personnel or destroy buildings, purposes for which IDF has a variety of more effective munitions. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. 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. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. 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. Covid-19: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine approved for use next week in UK, Trump pardons: US justice department unveils bribery inquiry, Trump inciting violence, warns Georgia election official, China #MeToo: Court to hear landmark case of intern versus TV star, Jozsef Szajer: Hungary MEP quits after allegedly fleeing gay orgy, Nike's diversity advert causing a backlash in Japan, Conception boat fire: Captain charged over 34 deaths in California, Elliot Page: Juno star announces he is transgender, Slack sold to business software giant for $27.7bn, Mick Schumacher to join Haas for 2021 season. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. 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. That same year, Israeli forces launched artillery shells containing white phosphorus in the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip during the 2009 war with Hamas. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. 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. 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. Two different crystalline forms are known. It can also be used as an incendiary device against enemy positions. Rain of Fire Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza I. 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. The new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? 0:32. “Experiencing the attack on the school was more difficult for me than the attack on the house. The obscurant smoke shells were used by the IDF for military purposes only (, For more information on Amnesty International’s history of charging Israel with crimes review. 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. It was launched from artillery shells in air-burst mode, which aggravated already devastating consequences of the attacks. 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. 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. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. (Jerusalem) - Israel's repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and … Israeli army 'using white phosphorus' - 12 Jan 08 - YouTube 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. 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 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. April 22. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. © 2020 BBC. The accusations against Israel are similar to those lodged against American troops fighting in Fallujah in 2004. 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. Could they be right? Yet in Gaza Israeli forces repeatedly fired them into densely populated residential areas, knowing that such imprecise weapons would kill and injure civilians. White phosphorus grenades were used in Vietnam for destroying Viet Cong tunnel complexes as they would burn up all oxygen and suffocate the enemy soldiers sheltering inside. Both organizations habitually charge Israel with war crimes after major military operations. Posts about White Phosphorus written by beyondtheborder. necessarily constitute a violation. 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. The NHS is ready to use the initial 800,000 doses when they arrive, the health secretary says. Amnesty International followed up this accusation in its July report titled, Israel/Gaza: Operation “Cast Lead”: 22 days of death and destruction. 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? 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 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. Pfizer vaccine judged safe for use in UK next week, The new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? WP White Phosphorus over Gaza ? The report describes the IDF’s use of white phosphorus: The IDF used two different types of munitions containing white phosphorous – exploding munitions and smoke projectiles… Exploding munitions were used only in open unpopulated areas for marking and signalling. As in past cases, these most recent charges received ample coverage in the media. It was launched from artillery shells in air-burst mode, which aggravated already devastating consequences of the attacks. Mark Regev, Israeli government spokesperson, says that Israel has been cleared by the IRC. If burning white phosphorus lands on a person's skin, it can go through to the bone. 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. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. 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 … The new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? 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. Stotsky lectures widely about Middle East media coverage and was interviewed on CNN about the topic. 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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. He monitors news coverage, academic studies, school curriculum about Israel and documentaries on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In January, the … 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. International watchdogs are calling the Israeli use of white phosphorus shells in Gaza a "war crime." Le Hamas a lancé des bombes au phosphore depuis la bande de Gaza vers Israël en 2010 [26], [27]. Human Rights Watch said Israel "deliberately or recklessly" used white phosphorus shells in violation of the laws of war, causing "needless civilian deaths". The Gaza Strip also borders Egypt, which severely restricts movement in and out of the territory. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. 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. Playing next. 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. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. 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 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. 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. 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 analysis would form part of a civil society effort to demand the prohibition of the weapon. The Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the three-week conflict. The International Red Cross has taken a more cautious position than Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch. 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 I heard Ansam cry ‘I am wounded in my head’. Steve Stotsky is a senior research analyst at CAMERA. A second component of the charges against Israel involves the broader question of proportionality. In particular, Amnesty International criticizes the manner in which Israel deployed the shells. White phosphorus, yellow phosphorus or simply tetraphosphorus (P 4) exists as molecules made up of four atoms in a tetrahedral structure. Video. You saw for yourself: The felt wedges of white phosphorus smoke shells are often harmless ashes even before they hit 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. 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 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. 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. White Phosphorus… was repeatedly fired indiscriminately over densely populated residential areas, killing and wounding civilians…. 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. Artillery in general and white phosphorus in particular should never be used in populated areas. Such attacks were indiscriminate and as such unlawful under international law. to create smoke screens, rather than to attack personnel or destroy buildings, purposes for which IDF has a variety of more effective munitions. The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. VideoThe new ‘Nigerian princes’ of hacking? The report gives short shrift to Israeli rebuttals of the charge, leaving the impression that the accusations, down to the details, are established fact. 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 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. The Israeli report on July 29 examines many of the incidents described by the Amnesty International report and offers contradictory information. This method (as opposed to the use of contact fuses), is consistent with the use of the projectiles for smoke-screening purposes only. January 19. Browse more videos. Part of a UN compound burned down after it was hit by chunks of the burning chemical which ignites on contact with air. Israel has acknowledged for the first time that it attacked Hezbollah targets during the second Lebanon war with phosphorus shells. As a weapon, white phosphorus is used to mark enemy targets and to produce smoke for concealing troop movements. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. Report. 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. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. 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. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. The IDF took several precautions and other measures that were appropriate with respect to these particular munitions. On 17 January 2009 the Israeli army bombed the school building with white phosphorus shells. The Times first accused Israeli forces of using white phosphorus on January 5, but the IDF has denied the charge repeatedly. 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. 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. 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 further asserts that military necessity required its use in densely populated areas, because this is where Hamas fighters congregated and threatened Israeli troops. This analysis examines Amnesty International’s charge that Israel’s use of white phosphorus was illegal. Its effects however can be extremely harmful. .css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link{color:inherit;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:hover,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link:focus,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited:focus{color:#B80000;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:link::after,.css-1hlxxic-PromoLink:visited::after{content:'';position:absolute;top:0;right:0;bottom:0;left:0;z-index:2;}Pfizer vaccine judged safe for use in UK next week. necessarily constitute a violation. The web site contains no further update to this original statement. 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 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 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. Artillery in general and white phosphorus in particular should never be used in populated areas. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. It criticizes the use of airbursts to disseminate the white phosphorus. Although neither the US nor Israel has signed on to these conventions, both generally abide by their admonitions. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. One clear difference between the Israeli report and the Amnesty International report is the tone in which it is written. 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. The American Federation of Scientists. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. 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. 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 Israeli report exposes examples of duplicity on the part of Hamas. A few anecdotal incidents cannot establish whether these casualties were unfortunate rare incidents or representative of a pattern of indiscriminate use. 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. 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. A Palestinian man suffering from burns consistent with white phosphorus after Israel's 2009 attack on Gaza City. The Israeli report, by comparison, takes a more cautious approach, indicating that a number of incidents are still under investigation. 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. 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 probe, conducted by artillery officer Col. Shai Alkalai, revealed that white phosphorus weapons were used strictly in open fields and not in urban centers. 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. Toxic phosphoric acid can also be released into wounds, risking phosphorus poisoning. The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. Ashkenazi announces IDF commision of inquiry to determine whether white phosophorus has been used. 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. Each shell ejected over a hundred felt wedges impredgnated with highly incendiary white phosphorus, which rained down over houses and streets…. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}The Israeli military says it is to stop using artillery shells with white phosphorus to create smokescreens on the battlefield. The following research article … 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. When the carbon disulfide evaporated, the phosphorus would burst into flames, and probably also ignite the highly flammable carbon disulfide fumes. International law restricts the use of white phosphorus during war. White phosphorus munitions were used extensively in Korea, Vietnam and later by Russian forces in First Chechen War and Second Chechen War. 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. As the Israeli reports points out The obscurant smoke shells were used by the IDF for military purposes only (e.g. 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. For example, an ambulance medic reported killed by an Israeli strike was later interviewed  apparently alive and well. This method (as opposed to the use of contact fuses), is consistent with the use of the projectiles for smoke-screening purposes only. Israel claims that it used white phosphorus strictly according to accepted practices and took measures to minimize civilians casualties. Rights groups condemned Israel's use of white phosphorus during the Gaza conflict because of its severely harmful effects on civilians. 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. The heavy reliance by Amnesty International (and Human Rights Watch as well) on anecdotal incidents does not answer that question. Read about our approach to external linking. 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. 'I turned my office into a cafe for cyclists', Steps debate the merits of entering Eurovision, .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Covid-19: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine approved for use next week in UK.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, Trump pardons: US justice department unveils bribery inquiry2, Trump inciting violence, warns Georgia election official3, China #MeToo: Court to hear landmark case of intern versus TV star4, Jozsef Szajer: Hungary MEP quits after allegedly fleeing gay orgy5, Nike's diversity advert causing a backlash in Japan6, Conception boat fire: Captain charged over 34 deaths in California7, Elliot Page: Juno star announces he is transgender8, Slack sold to business software giant for $27.7bn9, Mick Schumacher to join Haas for 2021 season10. 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 … .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. 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. The still unanswered question is how many Palestinian casualties were caused by white phosphorus and how severe were most of these casualties. …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.

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