Israel admits use of phosphorus shells in Gaza
The effect of war are horrible, it was said that all weapons being used in Gaza are in accordance to international law and international convention. The use of white phosphorus is banned against civilians......... it burns, yet we have seen children terribly injured by other weapons that are in accordance to international law. There is a concept here my mind fails to understand.
Israel has admitted – after mounting pressure – that its troops may have used white phosphorus shells in contravention of international law, during its three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip.
One of the places most seriously affected by the use of white phosphorus was the main UN compound in Gaza City, which was hit by three shells on 15 January. The same munition was used in a strike on the al-Quds hospital in Gaza City the same day.
"Israel appears to be using white phosphorus as an "obscurant" (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law," HRW said in a statement.
"However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people... The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza's high population density, among the highest in the world," it said.
White phosphorus results in painful chemical burn injuries. The resultant burn typically appears as a necrotic area with a yellowish color and characteristic garliclike odor. White phosphorus is highly lipid soluble and as such, is believed to have rapid dermal penetration once particles are embedded under the skin. Because of its enhanced lipid solubility, many have believed that these injuries result in delayed wound healing. This has not been well studied; therefore, all that can be stated is that white phosphorus burns represent a small subsegment of chemical burns, all of which typically result in delayed wound healing.