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Yunus, Olawale

Israel has used White phosphorus to destroy Gaza and Lebanon. White phosphorus has a strong incendiary effect, which can cause people to be severely burned as well as ignite nearby buildings, fields, and other innocent items on fire. Its use in Gaza, one of the world’s most densely populated locations, increases the risk to people, and using such a substance is a transgression of international humanitarian law while putting civilians in needless danger.

Israel deployed white phosphorous in its military operations in Gaza and Lebanon, according to the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW), putting people at risk of “serious and long-term injuries.”

HRW said that films shot in Lebanon and Gaza on October 10 and 11 revealed multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorous over the Gaza City port and two remote spots along the Israel-Lebanon border, and that it had independently confirmed the films.
HRW quoted its Middle East and North Africa director, Lama Fakih, as saying in a statement, “Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering.”
The advocate added that White phosphorous was unlawfully indiscriminate when airburst in populated urban areas, where it could burn down houses and cause egregious harm to civilians.

The global advocacy group affirmed this as a result of an interview conducted with two people in Gaza’s al-Mina area, who described observing strikes consistent with the use of white phosphorus. 

In confirming its interview with the duo, it said, “One was in the street at the time, while the other was in a nearby office building. Both described ongoing airstrikes before seeing explosions in the sky followed by what they described as white lines going earthward. They estimated that the attack took place sometime between 11:30 am and 1 pm. Both said that the smell was stifling. The person who was in his office said that the smell was so strong that he went toward the window to see what was happening and then filmed the strike.” 

 Israel’s military responded to the claims by stating that it was “at this time not aware of the use of weapons containing white phosphorus in Gaza.” on the claims made by the rights watchdog on their application in Lebanon, it made no comments.

In reprisal for a Hamas assault in southern Israeli communities this week that claimed at least 1,300 lives, the Israeli military has started bombarding Gaza. At least 1,500 Palestinians have died, and Israel and the Hezbollah organisation of Lebanon have traded insults.

Source: Arab news

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