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Israel’s Illegal Use of White Phosphorus During ‘Operation Cast Lead’

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Isabel Kershner wrote last week in the New York Times that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) plans to discontinue the use of white phosphorus munitions, adding that

Israeli and international human rights organizations accused Israel of using white phosphorus munitions improperly during Israel’s three-week military offensive against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza in the winter of 2008-9. Such munitions are not prohibited under international law, but they are not supposed to be used in civilian areas, because white phosphorus is highly flammable and, like napalm, it can burn flesh. Israel maintained that its use of shells containing phosphorus did not violate international law.[1]

Human rights organizations “accused” Israel, Kershner wrote, as though this was merely an unproven accusation and not a well-documented, indisputable fact.  The “accusation” is that Israel used white phosphorus “improperly”, Kershner’s euphemism for “illegally”. The munitions are “not prohibited under international law, but they are not supposed to be used in civilian areas”, meaning that the use of white phosphorus in civilian areas is prohibited under international law. Finally, Israel maintains it “did not violate international law.”

The question one might find oneself asking after reading this is: Did Israel use the munitions in civilian areas, or not? We know the answer. So, then, why cannot Kershner bother herself to tell her readers that there is no question that Israel did in fact use the munitions in civilian areas? Why does she decline to point out to her readers that, by doing so, it is an incontrovertible fact that Israel violated international law with its use of white phosphorus?

Kershner also didn’t mention that Israel initially denied its use of white phosphorus, which would be an behavior had its use of the munitions been legal. 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.”[2] 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”.[3]

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 HRW.[4] 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.[5]

“I can tell you with certainty that white phosphorus is absolutely not being used”, an IDF spokesperson had initially lied. Several days later, and two days after the HRW report, after photographs of the weapon being used in Gaza had appeared widely in the media, the official Israeli position became: “Any munitions that Israel is using are in accordance with international law. Israel does not specify the types of munitions or the types of operations it is conducting.”

CNNKershner perhaps took her cue from earlier reporting. CNN at the time likewise characterized Israel’s use of white phosphorus as merely an accusation with the headline “Group accuses Israel of firing white phosphorus into Gaza”.[6] The characterization came despite the fact that the article was accompanied online with an image of the weapon in use, clear photographic proof that the HRW “accusation” was true and that Israeli officials were lying.

In a similar fashion, the caption of a photograph on a BBC report unmistakably showing white phosphorus munitions bursting over populated areas read “Human Rights Watch says pictures like this point to white phosphorus use, but Israel denies this”. The BBC article disingenuously added, “There is no way independently to explain the contradiction between the Israeli military’s denial” and the reports that Israel had been using the weapon.[7] Unimaginatively, the BBC failed to realize the simplest and most obvious explanation: that Israeli officials were lying—a fact proven beyond any reasonable doubt by the very photograph the BBC included with the article.

BBC

The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem observed that under international law, “such [incendiary] weapons may only be used against military objects. When the military object is located within a civilian area, the use of phosphorus is absolutely prohibited.” While Israel had not signed the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the specific prohibition was nevertheless “based on two customary principles of international law, which are binding on Israel. The first is the prohibition on using weapons that cannot distinguish between combatants and civilians, and the second is the prohibition on using weapons which by their nature cause unnecessary suffering.”[8]

An ICRC official also confirmed to the Associated Press that Israel was in fact using white phosphorous munitions. His comments made headlines in the U.S. because he had also said, “But it’s not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way.” The widely published AP article was misleadingly titled “ICRC: Israel’s use of white phosphorus not illegal”, despite the fact that the official quoted, Peter Herby, hadn’t actually said that. Rather, he had indicated that additional information was required before a judgment could be made as to whether Israel’s use of the weapon was legal or not. The AP report noted in the third to last paragraph that Herby had also “said evidence is still limited because of the difficulties of gaining access to Gaza”, but the distinction was no doubt lost upon many readers, even among those who actually read past the false headline.[9]

Apparently, Herby had not seen any of the numerous photographs that had already appeared in the media or spoken with the credible witnesses of the weapons being used over heavily populated residential areas, and thus illegally. In another example, the Christian Science Monitor repeated Herby’s comments to the AP under the headline, “Red Cross: No evidence Israel is using white phosphorus illegally”, despite its own admission that “Monitor staff writer Robert Marquand reported yesterday that human rights groups have witnessed white phosphorus munitions exploding over populated area [sic] of Gaza” (emphasis added).[10] The headline was made even more egregious given the fact that in a separate article published the same day, Marquand reported (emphasis added):

Marc Garlasco has been on the northern border of Gaza for the past five days watching what he says are white phosphorus munitions exploding over a crowded refugee camp. Mr. Garlasco, a senior military analyst for New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), says that the way Israel is using the incendiary device is illegal…. “The IDF acts only in accordance with what is permitted by international law and does not use white phosphorus,” IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday in response to a query. But Garlasco says that phosphorus is clearly being used in the Jabaliya refugee camp, one of the most crowded areas in Gaza. “I can see them; we are very certain, whatever the Israeli Defense Forces may say, that white phosphorus is being used….”[11]


About the Author

Jeremy R. Hammond

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Jeremy R. Hammond
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent political analyst and a recipient of the Project Censored Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. He is the founding editor of Foreign Policy Journal and the author of Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman: Austrian vs. Keynesian economics in the financial crisis and The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict. His forthcoming book is on the contemporary U.S. role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
  • http://www.real-debt-elimination.com aaheart

    Khan Younis: “We could hear their bodies burning,” 27-year-old Fadia Al Najjar recounts.

    As Israeli planes poured what is now confirmed as DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) munitions on Gaza residents, Fadia recounts the night of terror her and her family endured.

    “We were terrified. We thought we were going to burn to death,” she said.

    http://www.real-debt-elimination.com/real_freedom/New_World_Order/we_could_hear_their_bodies_burning.htm

  • Alex K

    Pure Evil ! The fascist state of Israel makes international law irrelevant and not even the US dares criticize.. Something is very wrong when any nation/s, simply ignores international law so flagrantly.

  • arrow

    Great Article,

    it shows US hypocrisy when Muslim’s interests are involved where have been framed by false flag operation to destabilize and partition Muslim countries to erect “greater Israel” which is called “New world Order”. I am sure they will take this wish into their greaves, one by one.

    You should have mentioned what Obama said when Israel used phosphorus bomb on human being, the Palestinians. He said:

    {Israel has a RIGHT TO DENFEND ITSELF.}

    Where is ICC?

    Now, the “rebels”, CIA trained terrorists, have used chemical weapon to frame Assad. Obama is trying to frame Assad with chemical weapon as Bush did with Saddam.
    The world knows US government in 1980s gave chemical weapon and WMD to Saddam who invaded Iran on US government’s green light, to kill Iranians by thousands and smaller number of Kurds ,in order to weaken Iranian government for regime change which still is going. Reagan denied it, same as Obama and George Bush regarding Iraq, Libya and now Syria.

    Obama lies to keep the phony “war on terror” alive. To prove that there is “danger” out there to force Americans to submission, the gov. has created “Muslim terrorists” through funding and training for its proxy war against Muslims. They have killed MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF INNOCENT MUSLIMS, including children all over the world through invasion and proxy war. Actually, Muslims all over the world have been killed by US and its allies, NATO, to expand US hegemonic control over the world which IS NOTHING BUT AN IRON CAGE. It is the police state near you.

    Obama with the help of his Zionist bankers and WMD calling on Assad to step down or will be overthrown or assassinated by his terrorists where he and his supporters, phony “left” and phony “progressives” call “rebels” in Syria.

    He is responsible for thousands of deaths in Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali and many other countries.

    Where is ICC lawyer? Why do they go after victims such as Al bashir and Gaddafi and now Assad, and leave all the war criminals and baby killers at alone? Why ICC lawyers are silent? ICC is criminal and racist and a western tool for regime change. The petty ICC lawyers must be overthrown by force.

  • Danash

    The media reported:

    {Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against targets inside Syria on Friday, U.S. officials told NBC News.}

    MORE WAR CRIMES committed BY OBAMA AND ISRAEL. DEATH TO ICC.

    People from all over the world must go to Syria to fight agains the evils to help Assad. Russia and china have sold Syria like they did Libya. This is happening after the war criminal, John Kerry went to Russia. Who is going to arrest all these war criminals? Are Americans going to cooperate with evils after the false flag operation? Are they going to support the police state?

    We are fed up with the criminal states and their ignorant population. Obama is a war criminal. He, like Israel, has violated all the laws on books. This shows the first black presdent is as savage as the white before him IF NOT MORE.

  • arrow

    The war criminal and the baby killer supported Israel military strike on Syria, another violation of international law, and bought the condemnation of the world for himself and Israel. The first black president wages proxy war using his dog to attack Syria to provoke Assad into a bigger war.

    {Barack Obama has said Israel has the right to launch airstrikes on Syria, one day after the Israeli regime’s second airstrike on the country this year.}

    To prepare the dumb population, first, executed another False Flag Operation to make sure gullible people are in line.
    According to the war criminals, the Jewish state has a right to launch an airstrike on Syria to protect the “chosen people”. The cowards can use the same “logic” to do the same in Iran and claim we want to resolve the situation peacefully not through the war and buy the laugh of everyone with more than two brain cells. He has proven many times that not only he is an assassin, but a liar as well. He said:

    “What I have said in the past and I continue to believe is that the Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry” to resistance movements like Hezbollah, Obama stated.”

    We recently read the following news:

    {The Defense Department is expected to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports to help them counter any future threat from Iran.}

    The savages are telling the world that only US with 45 percent of world military budget, and Israel, the only country with nuclear weapon in the M.E “have the right to protect themselves”.
    Who wants to live under the police state?

    The first Jewish president, Obama, and the “jewish state” were condemned by the former US official:
    {Lawrence Wilkerson, the former senior US official says the use of chemical weapons in Syria might have been a “false flag operation” conducted by Israel to incriminate the Syrian government.}

    Wilkerson exposed the first black president and Israelis’ lies:

    “What I’m hearing from the intelligence community is that that evidence is really flakey,” Wilkerson said in an interview with Current TV on Thursday.

  • servocad

    Even if Israel was throwing chocolate wafers upon the Arab terrorists,Mr.Hammonds ( a world -infamous antisemite and supporter of all antisemitic /nazi groups) would accuse Israel of war crimes!And-he never allows the facts to confuse him!
    Even if Israel did use white phosphorus bombs against Hamas and other villains,it had the right to do so;every means is legal in order to fight terrorists.
    As about the civilian casualties-well it is all Hamas’s fault.Hamas,as all other Arab terrorists, uses civilian population as a human shield.
    So if they want to protect civilians from the bombs,all they have to do is stop using civilians as a human shield.
    Facit: ALL means are legal in order to wipe out Hamas and other nazis!

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      I can assure readers that if Israel dropped chocolate over populated civilian areas of Gaza rather than white phosphorus, I would not accuse Israel of committing a war crime for doing so. But this strawman argument, along with the ad hominem and other fallacies, is among the more amusing I’ve seen of late. Who knew that I was “world infamous”? Like the infamous El Guapo. Even more than famous!

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      I can assure readers that if Israel dropped chocolate over populated civilian areas of Gaza rather than white phosphorus, I would not accuse Israel of committing a war crime for doing so. But this strawman argument, along with the ad hominem and other fallacies, is among the more amusing I’ve seen of late. Who knew that I was “world infamous”? Like the infamous El Guapo. Even more than famous! Wow!

    • Mike Thompson

      I can`t agree that servocad`s comments are “strawman” Jeremy.

      “Rabid” would be a more accurate description.

      I find the articles published in the foreign Policy Journal a refreshingly balanced alternative to mainstream US media that willingly panders to unthinking bigots when it comes to reporting Israeli actions.

      Squealing about Iran`s nuclear power program, neatly deflects comment from the US supply to Israel of submarine based delivery systems for Israels nuclear warheads, it`s a crazy world!

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        I was just referring to how he lies about things Prof. Falk has said and then argues against his own fabrications, which is the fallacy of strawman argumentation, whatever else one chooses to call it.

        • Mike Thompson

          Thank`s Jeremy.

          Strawman is an expression unknown in the U.K. We do sometimes use “Aunt Sally” to describe someone using similar Logic. Two countries divided by the same language eh!

  • Fida Ahmed Advocate

    The question is that why should the US media try to cover up Israeli war crimes? Is the US Israel? Is the US media controlled by Jews? Or both?
    When will the truth come out? Never? What a ‘free world’! To hell with you!

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The answer is none of the above, but rather because the U.S. is complicit in Israel’s war crimes. Hence the motivation to help cover them up.

      • Fida Ahmed Advocate

        I wish there are more right minded people like you to show the ‘power intoxicated’ US the inhumanity of its illicit relationship with Israel.

  • Thoros Myr

    So what? If Mohammedan scum are being burned alive, this is a benefit for civilization.

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

    You say, “This article is example of blatant lie and cheap propaganda.” Yet you don’t point to even a single error in fact or logic in it. And from your comments, it seems you didn’t even read it.

    • simla

      You claimed that “it is an incontrovertible fact that Israel violated international law with its use of white phosphorus”.

      Its absolutely wrong.

      1. There is no any international law which bans using WP.
      2. There is law which bans using incendiary weapons in civilian area, but Israel did NOT use any incendiary weapons at all.
      3. The round in question M825A1 is a smoke round, therefore is 100% legal anywhere, both in civilian and open areas.

      a quote from Geneva conventions:

      “(b) Incendiary weapons do not include:
      (i) Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signalling systems;”

      Cheers

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        (1) There absolutely is international law which bans indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Needless to say, this includes use of WP in populated areas.

        (2a) See (1). (2b) See (3).

        (3a) Correction: that is not from the Geneva Conventions. It is from Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. (3b) Whether classified as “incendiary” or not, its indiscriminate use is a violation of international law. (3c) You are trying to twist the letter of the law to get around the spirit of the law. Obviously, the purpose here is to protect civilians. Any reading of this law that argues it is permissible to use WP munitions to attack civilians is on its face invalid. The definition provided in Protocol III also states:

        1. “Incendiary weapon” means any weapon or
        munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause
        burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination
        thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on
        the target.

        It is simple. This goes to the question of purpose. If used as a smokescreen, WP does not fall under this definition of “incendiary weapon”. But, naturally, if intended for use as a weapon to set fire to objects or cause burn injury to persons, it is.

        • simla

          WP =/= indiscriminate attack. Thats ur baseless invention. Smoke WP is actually saving lives.

          There is also nothing about “intention” in the law. Its about the DESIGN. M825A1 is DESIGNED as a smoke weapon. Therefore its absolutely 200% legal full stop.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            The use of white phosphorus in populated areas is by definition indiscriminate. How bizarre to assert that doing so saves lives.

            The intent of lawmakers is, needless to say, important for interpreting law. WP is designed as a smokescreen. It is not designed to be used as a weapon. And when used as designed, it is perfectly legal. However, when used as a weapon and particularly to target civilian objects, its use is a war crime. It cannot possibly have been the intent of the treaty’s drafters to somehow legalize the use of WP munitions against civilian populations. What an asinine and nonsensical interpretation!

          • simla

            “The use of white phosphorus in populated areas is by definition indiscriminate.”

            No, thats your baseless invention.

            “How bizarre to assert that doing so saves lives.”

            Smoke WP rounds reduce use of regular high explosive rounds which are million times more deadly. Thus they are saving lives.

            “WP is designed as a smokescreen. It is notdesigned to be used as a weapon. And when used as designed, it is perfectly legal. However, when used as a weapon and particularly to target civilian objects, its use is a war crime.”

            There are two WP smoke rounds in NATO arsenals: M110 and M825. M110 has dual use: smoke and kill. M825 however has only ONE use: SMOKE. Israel used only M825. Therefore its perfectly legal.

            If Israel used M110 (like US did in Fallijah) then u could ask whether it is for kill or for smoke. But Israel did not use it.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            No, thats your baseless invention.

            No, it isn’t. Under international law, weapons that cannot be directed at a military objective or are “of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction” are by definition indiscriminate, and attacks on civilian persons or objects are a war crime.

            Smoke WP rounds reduce use of regular high explosive rounds which are million times more deadly. Thus they are saving lives.

            By this logic, dropping a 1,000 lb. bomb on a civilian residential area would “save lives” since a nuclear weapon is more deadly but wasn’t used. The fallacy here, of course, is that it isn’t necessary to cause any harm to civilians. There is the choice of causing no harm. There is the option of dropping no weapon on civilians, which would mean zero deaths. Needless to say, compared to that option, targeting populated areas with 1,000 lb. bombs (or WP munitions) obviously causes death and injury to civilians and damage to property.

            Israel used only M825. Therefore its perfectly legal.

            Yes, when used as a smokescreen. But, again, when used to target civilian persons or objects, it is a war crime.

          • Superdust

            >By this logic, dropping a 1,000 lb. bomb on a civilian residential area would “save lives” since a nuclear weapon is more deadly but wasn’t used.>

            your ignorance is amusing. israel doesnt use 1,000 lb “bomb” but 2,000 lb bomb – and they are necessary to destroy buildings hamas uses to store munitions and ANFO.

            the bombs – whch are not bombs but JDAM missiles – pose no threat to civilians on the ground. you can see the neighboring buildings completely untouched, their windows pristine.

            the only civilians who may be hurt are the idiot palestinians FILMING the bombing.

            israel does not use explosive JDAMs. JDAM gu-32 has an explosive radius of 400 yards. if israel was using that hundreds of thousands of palestinians would be dead.

            even in the last conflict israel destroyed 11 multi-story buildings…and not a single person was killed. all in built up residential areas.

          • Superdust

            >The use of white phosphorus in populated areas is by definition indiscriminate. How bizarre to assert that doing so saves lives>

            you dont know what youre talking about. using smoke shells over “populated areas” is perfectly legal. Hamas trolls camp in residential areas, in order to provide cover for ground forces the WP SMOKE acts a blanket and can disorient hamas snipers in high rise buildings.

            israel did not use WP as a weapon, because israel wasn’t using weapons-grade WP. These rights organization are lying to you. They knew from the second this was not WP munitions. Whatever BS Palestinians spew is just that, BS.

            israel did not indiscriminately waste expensive WP smoke screens over gaza – you can see they chose areas that were militarized by hamas. idiot.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            No, using white phosphorus munitions over populated areas is not “perfectly legal”.

          • Superdust

            israel didnt use white phosphorous munitions. saying the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it true. HRW and AI investigations are non-scientific, predicated on eye-witness accounts and palestinian testimony – which is totally unreliable.

            you can see the smoke burst above the city, and how it is virtually dissipated in comparison. those pictures that are used to claim the phosphorous was in fact weaponized are fraudulent. the smoke patterns are completely different, which means it is either a hamas mortar filled with WtP – which they fired at israelis during the conflict – or WP stored by hamas.

            these photos were used as evidence, but no physical evidence was provided or established.

            these rights groups are donor-funded and self-interested. even their leaders admit palestinians have an incentive to lie

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You’re right, my stating that Israel used WP over and over isn’t what makes it true.

            But it is nevertheless a well documented incontrovertible fact — no matter how many times you repeat over and over again that it isn’t true.

          • Superdust

            no it isnt well documented, it never has been. have you read the reports? of course not. i see u cannot address the comment in its entirety, and your dubious and misapplication of international law as well as the realities of asymmetrical warfare.

            i await for your response, but i do not expect it as leftists only have words, not facts.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            What “reports” is it you’re asking whether I’ve read?

            Yes, it is well-documented, willful ignorance notwithstanding. See the above photos, for example.

          • Superdust

            the reports provided by hrw and ai, which do not provide evidence (physical or otherwise) weaponized WP was used. you can see simply through observation it wasnt weaponized or used as an incidery. thousands and thousands of shells were used, that is not the mechanism of delivering weaponized WP.

            you are clearly being disingenuous, like most terrorist lovers.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Ignorance isn’t an argument.

            Suffice to say that HRW and Amnesty most certainly did provide evidence that Israel was using WP in their reports.

          • Superdust

            i agree ignorance isnt an argument

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Thank you for acknowledging that you have no argument.

          • Superdust

            im also reading through your tweets and you seem to be very hateful and illogical, as well as gullible. imo, just another anti-israel extremist pandering to islamist fundamentalists.

            no common sense or basic morals. i see ur a fan of russia, eh? ironic, given its mass murder in chechnya, and the ethnic cleansing of millions of ethnic chehens dating back all the way to the 19th century to the present.

            but russia sees itself as an alternative to western “imperialism” therefore it is given a pass

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You are engaging in irrelevant and purely ad hominem argumentation, which is a violation of the terms of use of the comments section. Only notice.

          • Superdust

            “Allah is our objective; the Qur’an is the Constitution; the Prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish.” – Hamas

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Relevance?

        • Superdust

          except israel didnt use weaponized white phosphorous. watch videos of weaponized white phosphorous, israel didn’t use that. israel DOES NOT USE WP MUNITION. It is not a munition. Get it? HRW and AI did not provide any physical proof Israel uses WP munition. You can watch the videos and see photos – not a munition.

          hamas militarizes protected areas, this does not make them immune from attack. That’s international law.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Israel most certainly did use white phosphorus munitions.

    • Cpt_Justice
      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        I advise you to actually read the article before trying to respond to it.

        • Cpt_Justice

          OK, how did what I post not address the lies you put in the article?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Well, why don’t you just read it and find out.

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

    1) Again, no, international law does not allow the use of WP to target civilian persons or objects. Under international law, this is forbidden.

    2) Yes, I am saying not murdering civilians and/or destroying civilian objects is an option. Obviously, choosing to use a weapon indiscriminately causes more harm than not choosing to do so.

    3) WP can be used in ways not intended by the manufacturers. It can be used to target civilian persons or objects. Which is, of course, illegal.

    • Superdust

      operative word: TARGET. intent makes all the difference. any injuries or damaged succumbed by projectiles is not by itself a war crime. because hamas militarizes protected areas – which is a war crime – it is pretty difficult to argue civilians are being targeted, especially when the IDF provides warnings before even deploying ground forces.

      there is nothing indiscriminate about israel’s use of WP smoke – in fact it is just the opposite.

      IF hamas was not confronting soldiers in civilian areas, launching projectiles and anti tank missiles from these areas, wore uniforms, and behaved according to the rules of war – and not filthy terrorists – then one could complain about injuries arising from these projectiles as no justification could be used to explain why civilians may or may not have been injured.

      further, because hamas does not wear uniforms, the status of civilians is blurred. palestinians have a long history of classifying killed terrorists a civilians, and civilians killed by hamas’ own munitions and IEDs as killed (deliberately of course) by israel.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        Is your argument that Israel actually targeted unpopulated areas, but missed, and accidentally struck populated areas with White Phoshorus?

        Israel has a responsibility under international law to discriminate between military and civilian persons and objects. Nothing Hamas might do relieves Israel of its responsibility not to commit war crimes.

        • Superdust

          no, that isnt my argument at all. israel doesnt define the battlefield, hamas does. because all of gaza is militarized, and hamas doesnt wear uniforms or designate military assets, the risks faced by civilians increase exponentially.

          nothing was missed, nothing was targeted, the WP was exploded in the sky, not on the surface. any civilians that were injured indirectly by the shells or wedges is not in of itself a war crime. just like civilians being killed because hamas stores munitions in residential areas isnt a war crime.

          the burden rests on hamas to not militarize civilian areas. israel is powerless int his matter.

          israel HAS shown discrimination, that was the whole purpose of using WP as a smoke screen because the alternative is leveling whole neighborhoods so soldiers can move freely

          everything the IDF is logical and rational, because the goal is to strip hamas’ offensive capabilities, not kill people.

          everything hamas does is logical and rational for the purpose of killing as many israelis as possible AND palestinians to drive sympathy for gaza. when that fails they’ll just make up deaths and classify killed terrorists as civilian.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            So your argument is not that Israel actually targeted unpopulated areas, but missed, and accidentally struck populated areas with White Phosphorus….

            Instead, your argument is that Israel targeted “the sky” and the fact the white phosphorus rained down on populated areas was merely incidental. Is that correct?

          • Superdust

            no, that isnt my argument. nice liberal strawman.

            israel didnt target the sky, israel didnt target anything – read IDF’s report, and read the bullshit testimony collected by HRW and AI – which provides no technical or empirical challenges to the fact that israel does not use weaponized WP.

            you can see the medusa cloud, it is used a smoke screen, for perfectly good and justifiable reasons.

            hamas militarizes populated areas, so no it isnt merely incidental – that is where the war is. israel doesnt get to choose where hamas camps. that’s hamas’ responsibility. the only areas affected by the wedges were localized. plus gaza is a powder keg and stores ANFO and TNT in residential areas…you dont seem particularly concerned about that. storing massive explosives nexts to schools and mosques, that’s fine.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            You’ll notice it was a question, not a strawman argument.

            So, to summarize, your argument is not that Israel actually targeted unpopulated areas,
            but missed, and accidentally struck populated areas with White
            Phosphorus….

            And it isn’t that Israel targeted “the sky” and white phosphorus rained down on populated areas merely incidentally….

            It’s that “Israel didn’t target anything”. So it just fired off white phosphorus munitions randomly and struck populated areas without even having bothered to aim first, right?

            Man, you are really not helping yourself here insofar as your purpose is to deny that Israel engaged in indiscriminate force.

          • Superdust

            “just asking questions”, yes a strawman. there is NO need to summarize, no need to summarize my argument to something that you feel u have enough factoids to dismiss. acknowledge its entirety.

            you continue dodge the fundamentals and must simplify and generalize your elementary understanding of asymmetrical warfare and international law.

  • Javed Mir

    –the use of white phosphorus–

    How the so called international law is modified to justify the use of this acid!

  • Superdust

    hammond is clearly ignorant of asymmetrical warfare as well as israel’s offensive capabilities. Marc Garlasco sat on the border and eye-balled the medusa cloud “exploding over a refugee camp.”

    so what? this is no evidence of a criminal act. that is a non-scientific assessment.

    first off – let’s provide some context here. israel does not use weaponized-white phosphorous bombs. Israel uses M825A1 smoke shells. These cannot cause fires or burns. It is not a munition.

    This is weaponized white phosphorus:

    This is M825A1 WP:

    HRW and AI made the *unsubstantiated* claim that Israel was using incendiary bombs on Gaza.

    They are lying. Watch the video – the wedges burn out in seconds.

    The felt wedges of the M825A1 smoke shell go out almost immediately. When falling from the sky, they can’t create fires or cause severe burns.

    The images are intimidating, and these rights organizations need to get their funding somehow, so they exploit the situation and accuse israel of using WP – then try to fish for the facts later on.

    Their methodology is entirely non-scientific, and rely exclusively on Palestinian testimony – who are told to lie and under pressure by Hamas. Even AI officials have admitted Palestinians have an incentive to lie.

    To show you how idiotic people are, here is the smoke cloud – also known as the medusa – at its highest point:

    http://www.thomaswictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Medusa.jpg

    Here is the medusa near the surface – it is not one tenth the size

    http://www.thomaswictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/white_phosphorus_mortar.jpg

    But my god look at those flames? Obviously the wedges haven’t burned out. Wrong

    Here is the cone of the medusa – completely burned out:

    http://www.thomaswictor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/white_phosphorus_nose-cone.jpg

    What you are seeing in this picture are entirely different projectile.

    Question: Does it strike you as odd that someone was standing on the corrugated roof, ready to take a photo?

    Answer: It wasn’t odd at all. That’s a Hamas smoke mortar shell, deliberately fired at the school as something for the Jew-hating world press to seize on so they could say, “SEE? ISRAELIS ARE MONSTERS! THEY BURN CHILDREN ALIVE!” And it gave the “human rights” organizations more of their raison d’être.

    Middle Eastern terrorists have tons of Chinese, Russian, and Iranian white-phosphorus mortar rounds. They use them constantly. Ever heard a “human rights” organization complain about it? Their condemnation is quite…selective, isn’t

    Unlike Israel, Hamas actually uses weapons-grade white phosphorous and has fired it at Israeli civilians.

    As far as Israel lying, I’m looking through the communications and it doesn’t look like lying to me. The Israeli military uses munitions and resources as-needed. If you know Israel’s ROE, it precludes the targeting of civilians, the more logical explanation is there was a disconnect from the people fighting the war and the people doing the PR. Israel isn’t a monolithic entity.

    Israel stopped using WP, not because it was illegal but the slandering BS lies from “rights groups” and the so-called “experts” that no EFF ALL about asymmetrical warfare or Israel’s offensive capabilities.

    Hamas wouldn’t even give HRW or AI access into Gaza if they didn’t know from the beginning what their conclusions would be. The issue is also intent – observers made inflammatory accusations that Israel was using weaponized WP for the purpose of hurting civilians, which was a BS lie and never substantiated.

    The WP “investigations” disappeared when the war ended, and Goldstone himself recanted his report when he was confronted by the real evidence 6 months later.

    People seem to have an agenda and that agenda is to undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself. It is a consequent of the commercial media enterprise. Palestinians are an industry, rights organizations and media movements have leeched off of them for decades. It has enriched the Palestinian Authority but does not change the facts on the ground.

    Everyone familiar with this conflict know the Palestinians are pathological liars and are not afraid of Israel’s army.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      No, it is not in evidence that I am “clearly ignorant of asymmetrical warfare as well as israel’s offensive capabilities”.

      Yes, proof of Israel’s use of the munitions in populated areas is in fact evidence of a war crime.

      No, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch saying that Israel was using white phosphorus in populated areas is not “unsubstantiated”.

      Your claim that the WP munitions Israel used “can’t create fires or cause severe burns” is false. Israel burned down the main UNRWA warehouse where tons of humanitarian aid was stored, for example, with WP.

      • Superdust

        bullshit. AI and HRW provided NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (i.e, WP wedges) israel had used weaponized WP against civilians. Read their bullshit report – pictures of burn victims, Palestinian testimony, and polemic narrative. Not scientific, not empirical.

        You can see the smoke patterns. Compare the explosive nature of weaponized WP vs the the non-explosive non-lethal nature of WP smoke.

        the smoke and fletrounds – in combination with the powder keg hamas has made gaza, makes all areas vulnerable to fires and explosions. hamas stores amonium nitrate AND weaponized WP in civilian areas. that’s what terrorists do.

        weaponized WP is designed to explode on the surface, not 350 ft in the sky. Whatever physical damage occurred as a result of the smoke and flettet rounds, and the casings used to deliver the smoke was in error, not deliberate:

        “Several civilians appear to have been harmed by falling white phosphorous shell casings. Absent a technical malfunction, such a shell falls empty and contains no white phosphorous. Nevertheless, a direct hit by such an object may cause injury or even death. It should be noted that IDF forces are not immune from this risk. Indeed, a few years ago an IDF soldier was killed when a shell casing from an air”

        http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA_Graphics/MFA%20Gallery/Documents/GazaOperation%20w%20Links.pdf

        hamas entire military infrastructure is deeply embedded in the civilian population. everything is militarized – schools, hospitals, churches, mosques, residential areas, etc. this does not make these areas immune to attack.

        so the risks of fighting in these areas endanger the lives and safety of civilians. but considering the amount of WP IDF used, the circumstances it was used, the fact that it exploded in the sky – not targeted at civilians or populated areas – and the WP itself wasnt weaponized – the claim israel used WP munitions AND deliberately targeted civilians is complete bullshit. israel used THOUSANDS of WP smoke projectiles, THOUSANDS of shells, in addition to 116 felt wedges.

        the level of damage compared to the amount of WP is not consistent with excessive force. it is incredibly inefficient if the intent is to be used as a weapon, which is why israel uses it opposed to destroying entire residential areas so soldiers arent picked off by camping hamas fighters.

        read the AI and HRW report. non-empirical. pictures and testimony from random palestinians who know fuck all about asymmetrical warfare, and are under duress from hamas leaders who murder anyne who criticizes or reveal their offensive capabilities.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          Eyewitness testimony from people like Marc Garlasco from HRW or John Ging from UNRWA most certainly is evidence. We also have the photographic proof, of course. The New York Times’s only correspondent on the ground in Gaza — in only one of two articles during the entire operation that mentioned the subject — reported the finding of the shell casings bearing the marking of the US-provided WP. Etc., etc.

          But I know no amount of incontrovertible documented proof of a completely uncontroversial fact will convince people who prefer to content themselves with willful ignorance.

          • Superdust

            yes, eye-witness testimony, which isn’t empirical. john ging is from the UNRWA, what is again not empirical or scientific. no we dont have photographic proof – no photographs have been provided showing WP muntions were used.

            there is no press freedom in gaza, and the UNRWA is controlled by hamas. im sure you wouldnt consider the UNRWA a reliable source if it was used by the IDF to store weapons and soldiers.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            What a bizarre statement, that eyewitness testimony “is … not empirical”.

            How similarly bizarre to claim “UNRWA is controlled by Hamas”. Never heard that conspiracy theory before.

            Yes, the IDF did investigate itself. The office responsible for that self-investigation was the Military Advocate General (MAG), which provided legal advise to the IDF before and during Operation Cast Lead, including advise on the legality of planned targets.

            Needless to say, the IDF’s self-investigations were not found credible by the international community.

          • Superdust

            yes, it isnt empirical. eye-witness testimony is not empirical or scientific. gaza is not a free society, hamas murders anyone who reveals its offensive and military capabilities.

            ad yes, the unrwa is controlled by hamas. it is run by palestinians, 25 of the 27 trade groups are hamas, and hamas has constructed meters by several unrwa schools…and stashes its weapons and munitions there confirmed by the un itself.

            what “international community?” the unhrc – whose agenda is defined by some of the worst human-rights abusers on the planet – asked israel for the report. it didnt respond to it. the report is credible for the purpose of explaining israel’s role – which btw admitted to errors.

            you are a very ignorant person

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Again, how bizarre to say that expert eyewitness testimony is not empirical when the very definition of the word is “originating or based on observation or experience”.

            No, UNRWA is not “controlled by Hamas”.

            As for your comments about the UNHRC, I would remind you that the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict was headed by Richard Goldstone, a Zionist Jew, who described Israel’s record of investigating itself.

            I would also direct your attention again to the fact that the office responsible for that self-investigation was the Military Advocate General (MAG), which
            provided legal advise to the IDF before and during Operation Cast Lead,
            including advise on the legality of planned targets.

          • Superdust

            i never said expert eyewitness testimony IS NOT empirical, i said the testimony in gaza is not empirical, and the methodology is non-scientific. this all demonstrative.

            unrwa is controlled by hamas.

            again please tell me how hamas wasnt responsible for the brutal murder of the 3 kids? please i want to know, i am eager to hear your defense!

            yes thanks for pointing out goldstone is a zionist jew – of course ethnicity and political status only provides credibility to racists and bigots such as yourself. of course if you were paying attention goldstone recanted much of the report:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story.html

            The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.

            Shock horror!

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            “i never said expert eyewitness testimony IS NOT empirical…” — Superdust, 8/27/14

            “yes, eye-witness testimony, which isn’t empirical.” — Superdust, 8/26/14

            Marc Garlasco witnessed Israel raining down WP on populated areas for himself. That is by definition “empirical” evidence. Likewise, John Ging and other UN officials saw it for themselves. After Israel burned down the main UNRWA warehouse with the stuff, Ging said, “It looked like phosphorous, it smelled like phosphorous and it burned like phosphorous, so that’s why I’m calling it phosphorous.”

            Indeed.

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

    Yes, but let’s not get carried away with treating facts as though they are relevant to our perceptions of reality.