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Israel 'admits' using white phosphorus munitions

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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:00 AM
Original message
Israel 'admits' using white phosphorus munitions
Source: Times Online (UK)

Martin Fletcher in Jerusalem
The Israeli military came close to acknowledging for the first time yesterday its use of white phosphorus munitions during the war in Gaza, but continued to insist that it did not breach international law.

As fresh evidence emerged of Gazan civilians being burned by phosphorus, Avital Leibovich, the army spokeswoman, said its use was legal according to international law...All the munitions we were using were legal, like the French, American and British armies. We used munitions according to international law.

They were committing war crimes by putting the civilians in the front line, she said. If Hamas chooses to locate training camps, command centres...in the middle of the ...look how populated it is...naturally they are endangering the lives of civilians. Hamas is accountable for the loss of the civilians.

Major-General Amir Eshel, the army's head of strategic planning, said that firing shells to provide a smoke screen was legal. It is the most nonlethal kind of weapon we used. I don't see any issue with that, he said.

The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reported that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had privately admitted using phosphorus bombs, and that the Judge Advocate General's Office and Southern Command were investigating.

Read more: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east...




Children play with a flaming lump, allegedly containing white
phosphorus, in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Everything Israel did to Gaza was illegal.
Even using war planes to strafe trapped civilians. They are no better than the Americans in Iraq.
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Duckhunter935 Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Do you have an unbiased source?
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wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Do You ???? n/t
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. take your pick
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bobd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. You shut them up quick. ;) :) ...nt
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Finite Donating Member (98 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ah I see..
So the Palestinians were committing war crimes by getting in the way of your Chemical weapons?

Jesus christ.. when is someone going to hold Israel to account??
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Duckhunter935 Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. Unfortunatly they are right, It is legal to use for screening
As long as the target was not civilians, which they would argue and win that they were not directly aiming a round at people.

Love the picture that is how to keep people safe.

Hamas launches first phosphorus rocket at Negev

Palestinian militants fired a phosphorus rocket at Israel for the first time yesterday, one of 17 fired into Israel as fighting entered its 19th day. The phosphorus rocket exploded in an open field in the western Negev. No injuries or damage were reported.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055561.html
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
wroberts189 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Its being used illegally against civilians and its been widely reported.
Legality

The use of White Phosphorus as an obscurant is legal, however its use on personnel targets is banned by Article III of the Geneva Conventions as an incendiary weapon, and by Article II of the Geneva Conventions as a chemical weapon (lethal through dust inhalation and through the mechanism of absorption through contact burns) Neither the US nor Iraq are signatories to Article III. The United State is signatory to Article II.

A declassified US Intelligence document<12> from 1991 confirms the American stance that WP is a chemical as well as an incendiary weapon, stating in its summary "IRAQ HAS POSSIBLY EMPLOYED PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDISH POPULATION IN AREAS ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN BORDERS."

Saddam's use of WP in 1991 was included on the list of war crimes which was used in part justification of the 2003 invasion.


source Wikipedia.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
21. Key point is whether or not its intended use was antipersonnel or not
If it was not, the chemical weapons charge is gone. Reckless disregard for civilians is a harder one to prove. However, it looks like its going to be the only viable approach under the LOW.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. they have repeatedly targeted civilians
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Tripmann Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. That report...
..has been ridiculed numerous times on this forum.

And your arguement is laughable. It reminds me of that episode of South Park where Jimbo gets around the new laws protecting animals from hunting by shouting "He's coming right for us".

If you use WP in the most populated area on earth you have to take responsibility for civilian injuries as a result, whether there was intent or not.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. I agree its questionable, mostly due to the difficultly in putting it in a Qassam
Israel may still produce evidence of it when things get legal. Have to wait and see
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. Yes, it is, but this should be changed.
As long as white phosphorus is around in a war zone, does anyone seriously think it's not going to end up as a weapon? It should be made absolutely illegal - and that applies to all countries.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. And again for the third time from me alone
there is no evidence other than a POS story floated last week that dropped like a rock, Ha'aretz has not even updated the story, if there were any truth to this the Israeli government would be shrieking from every bullhorn in the media not to mention would Israel have really withdrawn knowing Hamas had WP weapons, no physical evidence such chemical residue, and one of your own team pointed out that WP is very difficult to work with and may very well not be possible to deliver in the manor described
But yet you keep trotting this out time after time after time.........
we're seeing the sweat
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. Murderous bastards
They can no longer claim ANY moral high ground. They are as hideous as any Jihadist.

This was not a war against Hamas. It was punishment of a caged people.

The Israeli people should be shamed by the actions of their government and they should vote these warmongers OUT!

And yes- I felt shame when our troops used WP in Iraq.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
13. bullshit. what ever happened to using smoke bombs to make smoke?
if anyone buys this crap, they are either apologists for war criminals, or believe that their beloved israel can never do any wrong. (Much like our congress)
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. WP is the best "smoke bomb" out there right now, which is part of the IDF justification
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. so, why do our tanks and ships use kerosene?
Why not use white phosphorus? Because it is NOT simply used for smoke. It is a weapon of terror, intended to instill fear and confusion.

This is so much bull. Digusting what AIPAC and Israel can feed us and so many, even smart ones here, lap it up like it was factual.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. There is a difference between smoke generators and smoke shells
You use smoke shells where you do not have equipment with internal combustion motors to generate smoke at the location you want it. By example, if you want a smoke screen between you and the enemy observers you use shells. If you want to make a smokescreen where you are you use tanks, ships, etc.

WP is a very effective smoke agent. However it is seriously nasty stuff. However, technically it use is legal under the LOW. That does not mean I like it, just that its legal (barely). The more effective approach will be reckless disregard for civilians, not illegal chemical weapons.

This conflict and Lebanon have shown that the LOW are lagging in a number of areas. This is just one.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
14. I'm not going to say "I told you so", but I . . .
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. And it was Livni that recently said at a press conference that Israel has
shown "restraint." I wonder what their idea of unleashed military action would have been.
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delad Donating Member (235 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. nuclear weapons probably n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
19. You can't use WP in downtown Gaza City and credibly claim
you aren't targeting civilians. That's just mendacity.
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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
23. Nothing can be posted in Latest Breaking News with the word Israel in it?
oh my
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