Amid the latest renewed battle between Israel and Hamas, Human Rights Watch (HRC) Thursday claimed that the Israeli armed forces had used a substance referred to as white phosphorous in munitions fired at populated city areas. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) appeared to rebut this allegation in subsequent statements.
White phosphorus is a poisonous materials that burns at over 800 levels Celsius. Sometimes, it’s used as a non-violent navy weapon, usually utilised to create smokescreens or ignite unoccupied buildings, and for this reason, it’s categorised as a multipurpose munition somewhat than an incendiary weapon.
@IDF assertion: The present accusation made towards the IDF concerning using white phosphorus in Gaza is unequivocally false. The IDF has not deployed using such munitions.
Cease spreading lies.
— Israel Battle Room (@IsraelWarRoom) October 13, 2023
In response to the allegations, IDF reportedly issued statements denying using white phosphorous. Reuters reported that the Israeli navy said, “The present accusation made towards the IDF (Israel Defence Pressure) concerning using white phosphorus in Gaza is unequivocally false. […] The IDF has not deployed using the such munitions.”
The usage of white phosphorous is authorized. Nonetheless, Protocol III of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons prohibits using incendiary weapons to assault civilians, though Israel isn’t a celebration to the protocol. The IDF referenced this chemical in a tweet from 2012:
— Israel Protection Forces (@IDF) March 13, 2012
Talking on using white phosphorous, Lama Fakih, Center East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, noted:
Any time that white phosphorus is utilized in crowded civilian areas, it poses a excessive threat of excruciating burns and lifelong struggling […] White phosphorous is unlawfully indiscriminate when airburst in populated city areas, the place it will probably burn down homes and trigger egregious hurt to civilians.
This isn’t the primary such allegation of white phosphorous getting used towards civilians by the Israeli navy. Amnesty International found “indeniable proof” of this follow in 2009, which led to rights teams condemning Israel for white phosphorous use in Gaza.