First Published: 2009-01-09

 
Israel accused of using phosphorus shells in Gaza
 

Photographic evidence suggests that Israel is using white phosphorus against civilians in Gaza despite international law ban.

 

Middle East Online

M825A1 is a US-made WP munition

LONDON - Israel is using white phosphorus shells in its offensive on the Gaza Strip, the Times newspaper reported on Thursday, citing photographic evidence despite Israeli denials.

The daily said it had identified stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells from photographs taken of Israel artillery units on the border with Gaza this week.

The report said Palestinian citizens had suffered burns caused by the weapons.

"The use of WP against civilians is prohibited under international law," the newspaper noted. It said it had identified pale blue shells marked with the designation M825A1 as a US-made WP munition.

Phosphorus ignites on contact with oxygen and, according to the Times, is being used by the Israeli military to create smokescreens to allow its ground forces to operate.

Medics in Gaza told the newspaper they had been struggling to treat patients with unusual burns, which they suspected had been caused by white phosphorus.

"The burns are very unusual. They don't look like burns we have normally seen. They are third-level burns that we can't seem to control," the Times quoted medic Muhammad Azayzeh, 28, as saying in Gaza City.

It cited an Israeli military spokeswoman as insisting the M825A1 identified by the paper was not a WP shell: "This is what we call a quiet shell -- it is empty, it has no explosives and no white phosphorus. There is nothing inside it.

"We shoot it to mark the target before we launch a real shell. We launch two or three of the quiet shells which are empty so that the real shells will be accurate. It's not for killing people."

But Neil Gibson of Jane's Missiles and Rockets told the Times that the M825A1 was a WP round.

"The WP does not fill the shell but is impregnated into 116 felt wedges which, once dispersed (by a high-explosive charge), start to burn within four to five seconds.

"They then burn for five to ten minutes. The smokescreen produced is extremely effective," he said.

 

Saudi, allies unveil Qatar 'terrorist' blacklist

Israel dismantles metal detectors from holy site

Trump says Syrian rebel aid program was 'dangerous and wasteful'

Iran gets more involved in Iraq militarily

600,000 Yemenis expected to contract cholera in 2017

Palestinians demand removal of Jerusalem 'security' measures

Key challenges in Libya's chaos

Where Afghanistan is heading and what it means for the Arab Gulf

Saudi raises $4.53 bln in oversubscribed bond issue

Jordanian mourners chant 'death to Israel'

14 Saudis face ‘imminent’ unfair execution says Amnesty

Rival Libyan leaders hold talks in France

Amnesty International urges EU to 'reset' Turkey relations

Erdogan urges Muslims to ‘protect’ Jerusalem

US sanctions protecting Iranian tech sector

Air strike kills civilians in Syria despite truce

278 Europe-bound migrants rescued off Libya

Beirut, the upcoming start-up hub in MENA region

Cardinal hails 'rebirth' of Iraqi Christian town

Top UN delegation visits crisis-hit Yemen

Trump aide due in Israel to ease holy site tensions

Libya’s coastguard rescues 150 Europe-bound migrants

EU warns Turkey economy at risk in Germany row

Saudi crown prince takes temporary charge

Israel strikes Gaza after missile across border

Hezbollah says fight on Syria border ‘nearing end’

Staff of Turkey opposition paper stand trial

Tehran’s judiciary chief accuses US of jailing innocent Iranians

Palestinian arrested after attack in Tel Aviv

Maghreb future is tied to resolving Western Sahara conflict

MENA countries particularly vulnerable to climate change

UN-backed Libya PM to meet eastern strongman near Paris

Saudi Arabia and allies insist demands non-negotiable as GCC crisis continues

Netanyahu faces mounting pressure over holy site

Two Jordanians killed at Israeli embassy in Amman

Erdogan holds talks with Gulf leaders on Qatar crisis

Arab League accuses Israel of 'playing with fire' at holy site

Erdogan seeks to defuse standoff around Turkey’s Qatar

Syria warplanes strike near Damascus despite ceasefire

US warns Iran over imprisoned Americans

Kuwait protests to Lebanon over Hezbollah training

30 extremists in Sinai operations

Three Palestinians shot dead in Jerusalem

Nearly 360 injured in Turkey by magnitude 6.7 quake

UN says Saudi to blame for deadly Yemen strike on civilians