Israel has admitted for the first time to “using munitions containing white phosphorus” during its offensive on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009. But the Israeli government denied violating international law, claiming that such weapons were not fired into areas populated by civilians.
The admission came in an Israeli government report published Thursday, which confirmed earlier reports by the United Nations and several international human rights organizations. Those reports said that Israeli troops violated international law during the offensive.
A Human Rights Watch report released in March slammed Israel for firing white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas, including repeated attacks on the UN Relief and Works Agency headquarters in Gaza City.
Israel denied the report, saying its troops respected international law during the Gaza war.
The use of white phosphorus weapons to generate a smokescreen and cover troop movements is legally accepted, but the 1980 Geneva Convention forbids its use in densely populated areas. more at France24
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