White phosphorus rains on Gaza

A representative of Amnesty International was on the ground in Gaza and recorded what she saw on the last days of Operation Cast Lead.  

Since the mainstream media was kept out of Gaza, these two short videos offer shocking evidence of Israel’s disproportionate and deadly use of white phosphorus in densely populated civilian areas, illegal under international law. Israel vehemently denied it used white phosphorus in Gaza.

The London Times reported on January 5, 2009 that despite Israel’s denials, “the tell-tale shells could be seen spreading tentacles of thick white smoke to cover the troops’ advance.” On January 8, The Times reported again that photographic proof of Israel’s use of white phosphorus munitions had emerged, “despite official denials” by the IDF. The Times had identified munitions bearing the designation M825A1, made in the USA. Confronted with the evidence, an IDF spokeswoman lied, “This is what we call a quiet shell—it is empty, it has no explosives and no white phosphorus. There is nothing inside it”.


By January 10, Human Rights Watch called upon Israel to “stop using white phosphorus in military operations in densely populated areas of Gaza”, including Gaza City. “White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. Noting that when white phosphorus munitions burst in the air, they spread “116 burning wafers over an area between 125 and 250 meters in diameter”, HRW added that “the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life.” The IDF continued to deny that it was using white phosphorus, HRW also pointed out, despite the fact that the distinctive air-bursting munitions had been photographed being used over populated areas of Gaza.

The proof is in the pictures and the interviews.

In the second video, the United Nations relief agency is targeted with white phosphorus. In April 2013, Israel announced it would stop using white phosphorus. (Tell me: How can Israel stop using something it denies it uses? I guess the same way it doesn’t have a nuclear arsenal. R-r-i-i-g-g-h-h-t-t!)

Amnesty International called for the end of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, an independent fact-finding commission to investigate possible war crimes, and for responsible parties to be held accountable. Five years later, Israel has not paid reparations to the victims, and there has been no accountability.

No accountability = no justice.  I wonder if Kerry, Abbas and Netanyahu have even discussed Operation Cast Lead during their recent “peace” negotiations.


Filed under Gaza, Israel, Video

2 responses to “White phosphorus rains on Gaza

  1. The Video is Unavailable in India.

  2. that was a terrible terrible day, it was like the sky exploded and started falling on our heads, like long white snakes gaping. I was in an area far away, but i was terrified.

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