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Israel admits possessing munition containing white phosphorus

December 12, 2023 at 9:58 am

A view of M825 and M825A1 artillery shells labeled D528, the US Department of Defense Identification Code for “white phosphorus-based munitions” in Sderot, Israel on October 09, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation army yesterday admitted that it possesses munitions containing white phosphorus, after the White House expressed concern about the use of such incendiary materials in attacks in southern Lebanon.

The official Israeli Army Radio said: “We have smoke munitions containing white phosphorus, intended for camouflage, and not for the purpose of attacking or starting fires.”

“Like many Western armies, the Israeli army also possesses smoke munitions containing white phosphorus.”

Earlier yesterday, US National Security Council spokesman at the White House, John Kirby, said that the United States is concerned about reports Israel used US-supplied white phosphorus munitions in an October attack in southern Lebanon, adding: “We’ve seen the reports. Certainly, concerned about that. We’ll be asking questions to try to learn a little bit more.”

In late October, Amnesty International revealed evidence that the Israeli army used white phosphorus in its attacks on Lebanon.

At the time, the organisation said in a statement: “One attack on the town of Dhayra on 16 October must be investigated as a war crime because it was an indiscriminate attack that injured at least nine civilians and damaged civilian objects, and was therefore unlawful.”

“Amnesty International’s Crisis Evidence Lab verified videos and photos showing the use of white phosphorous smoke artillery shells in Dhayra on 16 October.”

It explained that white phosphorus is an incendiary weapon “’primarily designed’ to set fires and burn people, excluding uses of incendiary weapons for other purposes, including as smokescreens.”

It added that “white phosphorus can reignite when exposed to oxygen, even weeks after it is deployed.”

Phosphorus bombs are an internationally prohibited weapon under the Geneva Convention of 1980, which stipulated the prohibition of the use of white phosphorus as an incendiary weapon against humans and the environment.

Israel has also been found to be using white phosphorus against the civilian population in besieged Gaza, where the occupation has killed over 18,200 Palestinians and injured nearly 50,000.

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