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Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 12:52 PM
Original message
Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza
Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells

<snip>

"Israel's military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In a 71-page report, the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed "a pattern or policy of conduct".

It said the Israeli military used white phosphorus in a "deliberate or reckless" way. The report says:

Israel was aware of the dangers of white phosphorus.

It chose not to use alternative and less dangerous smoke shells.

In one case, Israel even ignored repeated warnings from UN staff before hitting the main UN compound in Gaza with white phosphorus shells on 15 January.


"In Gaza, the Israeli military didn't just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops," said Fred Abrahams, a senior Human Rights Watch researcher. "It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren't in the area and safe smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died." He said senior commanders should be held to account.

Human Rights Watch called on the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, to launch an international commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of violations of international law in the Gaza war by the Israeli military and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls Gaza."

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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 12:59 PM
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1. HRW: Israel: White Phosphorus Use Evidence of War Crimes
Indiscriminate Attacks Caused Needless Civilian Suffering

<snip>

"Israel's repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 71-page report, "Rain of Fire: Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza," provides witness accounts of the devastating effects that white phosphorus munitions had on civilians and civilian property in Gaza. Human Rights Watch researchers in Gaza immediately after hostilities ended found spent shells, canister liners, and dozens of burnt felt wedges containing white phosphorus on city streets, apartment roofs, residential courtyards, and at a United Nations school. The report also presents ballistics evidence, photographs, and satellite imagery, as well as documents from the Israeli military and government.

Militaries use white phosphorus primarily to obscure their operations on the ground by creating thick smoke. It can also be used as an incendiary weapon.

"In Gaza, the Israeli military didn't just use white phosphorus in open areas as a screen for its troops," said Fred Abrahams, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch and co-author of the report. "It fired white phosphorus repeatedly over densely populated areas, even when its troops weren't in the area and safer smoke shells were available. As a result, civilians needlessly suffered and died."

The report documents a pattern or policy of white phosphorus use that Human Rights Watch says must have required the approval of senior military officers.

"For the needless civilian deaths caused by white phosphorus, senior commanders should be held to account," Abrahams said.

On February 1, Human Rights Watch submitted detailed questions to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) about its white phosphorus use in Gaza. The IDF did not provide responses, citing an internal inquiry being conducted by the Southern Command."

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Rain of Fire

http://www.hrw.org/node/81760

Israels Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. What was the reason for using WP when troops were
not in the area, what did IDF need a smokescreen for?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 04:49 PM
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3. Deterrence capability, loud and strong by Israel, using alternatives
would not have produced the shock and awe factor.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-25-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. Human Rights Watch described al-Dura hoax as an "indiscriminate and illegal use of force"
Edited on Wed Mar-25-09 06:18 PM by shira
so did Amnesty International. Both HRW and AI also claimed they had eyewitness accounts and 'prima facia' evidence of a massacre in Jenin 2002 that never happened. More recently, they said they had no evidence Hezbollah was using human shields in Lebanon 2006. And now HRW says they have no evidence of Hamas using human shields.

:eyes:

They're either pathetically incompetent or pathologically hostile and biased against Israel.

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