Gaza: Israel under fire for alleged white phosphorus use
IN CIVIL AREAS AGAINST GENEVA CONVENTION
Jabaliya refugee camp SPRAYED WITH TOXIC PHOSPHOROUS
"The IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] acts only in accordance with what is permitted by international law and does not use white phosphorus," IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday in response to a query. ??????
But Garlasco says that phosphorus is clearly being used in the Jabaliya refugee camp, one of the most crowded areas in Gaza.
PARIS; and Beirut, Lebanon - Marc Garlasco has been on the northern border of Gaza for the past five days watching what he says are white phosphorus munitions exploding over a crowded refugee camp.
Mr. Garlasco, a senior military analyst for New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), says that the way Israel is using the incendiary device is illegal. White phosphorus shells contain more than 100 felt filaments that ignite upon contact with the atmosphere, drift to earth, and burn intensely for at least 10 to 12 minutes.
But its use is forbidden against people – civilians
The usage of white phosphorus is not illegal under international law if it's used in military operations as a smoke screen to cover troop movements or against bunkers, armored vehicles, and ammunition dumps. But its use is forbidden against people – civilians and soldiers alike – under nearly all military codes and laws.
"The use of white phosphorus is banned as a weapon that causes 'unnecessary suffering,' " says Mark Ellis, director of the International Bar Association in London. "It isn't to be used in civilian areas, or indeed against people since it creates horrible damage to the human body, and unnecessarily so."
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Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel