Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel Of Deploying White Phosphorus In Gaza

Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel Of Deploying White Phosphorus In Gaza

By Ben Kerrigan-

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Israel of employing white phosphorus in its ongoing military operations in Gaza and Lebanon, putting civilian lives at grave risk.

The rights group’s statement comes after a thorough analysis of video footage from the ongoing conflict.

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HRW disclosed that they have verified footage captured in Lebanon and Gaza, which clearly demonstrates multiple instances of artillery-fired white phosphorus being used over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

The use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas violates Israel’s international obligation to take all feasible precautions to prevent harm to civilians.

HRW’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Lama Fakih, voiced her concerns, stating, “Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering.

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White phosphorus is unlawfully indiscriminate when airburst in populated urban areas, where it can burn down houses and cause egregious harm to civilians.”

Notably, white phosphorus can cause severe burns that penetrate to the bone, often resulting in death or lifelong injuries. Its intended purposes include generating smokescreens, marking targets, and incinerating enemy targets.

While the use of white phosphorus is not categorically banned in warzones under international law, it is expressly prohibited near civilians by the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons, despite Israel not being a signatory to the agreement.

HRW is urging Israel to prohibit the use of “airburst” white phosphorus munitions in populated areas without exceptions. They have also pointed out the availability of non-lethal alternatives that could prevent harm to civilians.

As this revelation continues to reverberate globally, Israel’s defense ministry has not yet issued a response to Al Jazeera’s request for comments.

The consequences of its deployment in these areas could be devastating and long-lasting, adding to the already dire humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza and Lebanon.

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