Gaza under cloud of white phosphorous

(Reuters) Palestinians flee their houses through smoke during Israel’s offensive in northern Gaza Strip

Live Press TV footage from Gaza City shows parts of the densely populated strip enveloped by fatal clouds of Israeli white phosphorous.

The footage taken moments ago by the crew of Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari, present in Gaza City, is further indication of the use of unconventional weapons by Israeli forces in the strip.

White phosphorus, classified as a ‘chemical weapon’ by the U.S. intelligence, is an incendiary material that causes horrific burns, severe injuries or death when it comes in contact with human skin.

Under the Geneva Treaty of 1980, the use of white phosphorous as a weapon is prohibited, however, there is no blanket ban on its use as a smokescreen or for illumination.

Human Rights Watch has warned Israel not to use white phosphorus in Gaza, saying its researchers have observed the use of the chemical weapon by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the presence of photographic and video evidence proving that Israel has been using the controversial weapon in the heavy-populated Gaza City, the Israeli military denies using the chemical against civilians.

Tel Aviv says it is uses white phosphorus shells to create smokescreens to allow its ground forces to operate. Tel Aviv has refused to comment on the types of munitions it is using in the conflict which has so far left over 975 Palestinians dead and more than 4,500 others wounded. Israel has admitted, however, that it used white phosphorus during its 33-day war against Lebanon in 2006.

Source: Press TV and Al Jazeera

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