Human Rights Watch confirms that the Israeli occupation used white phosphorus in its attacks on the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.
Human Rights Watch confirmed that the Israeli occupation used white phosphorus in its attacks on Gaza and Lebanon on October 10 and 11.
In a Q&A article about white phosphorus, Human Rights Watch expressed concerns about the Israeli occupation’s use of phosphorus in military operations in Gaza and Lebanon, highlighting the serious and long-term risks it poses to civilians.
Human Rights Watch substantiated these claims with video evidence from Lebanon and Gaza, which depicted multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the occupied Palestine-Lebanon border.
White phosphorus, with its dual capability for marking, signaling, and obscuring or as an incendiary weapon, can cause severe burns to individuals and ignite structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity.
The use of white phosphorus in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas globally, significantly heightens the danger to civilians and constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law’s prohibition on needlessly endangering civilians.
International law explicitly forbids the use of phosphorus, and such actions are considered violations by the occupying forces. It’s worth noting that assaults employing air-delivered incendiary weapons in civilian areas are outlawed under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Lama Fakih, Director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, emphasized, “Whenever white phosphorus is employed in densely populated civilian zones, it presents a grave risk of agonizing burns and enduring suffering.”
She further explained, “White phosphorus is inherently indiscriminate when airburst in densely populated urban regions, as it can ignite buildings and cause severe harm to civilians.”