israhell defends use of flesh-eating weapon
“”” Tel Aviv hits back at a humanitarian report that suggests the Israeli army had ‘illegally’ shelled Gazans with white phosphorus shells.
The New York-headquartered Human Rights Watch said in a recent report that Israel’s indiscriminate and deliberate use of white phosphorus against Palestinian civilians amounts to war crimes.
“The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) repeatedly exploded white phosphorus munitions in the air over populated areas, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging civilian structures,” read the report.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Israeli officialdom had violated the international laws of warfare by using the controversial weapon — which burns flesh to the bone.
Israeli military officials responded by calling the report “baseless” and said the White phosphorus shells — which is prohibited “in all circumstances” under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons — were used in accordance with international law.
“These shells were used for specific operational needs only and in accord with international humanitarian law. The claim that smoke shells were used indiscriminately, or to threaten the civilian population, is baseless,” the Washington Post quoted Israeli military officials as saying.
Tel Aviv attacked Gaza on December 27 with the declared goal of “self-defense” and toppling the Hamas government. More than 1,350 Palestinians, including a large number of women and children, were killed in the conflagration.
More than two months after Tel Aviv declared an alleged ceasefire, further revelations of the Israeli army’s massive violations of human rights has set the wheels turning on an international war crime case.
During the offensive, Israel reportedly shelled three clearly GPS-designated UN schools and opened fire on hospitals, ambulances, medical personnel and civilian homes.
After categorical denials that it used white phosphorus on the densely-populated Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers finally admitted that they had pounded the Palestinian coast with at least twenty white phosphorus bombs.
The most shocking revelation, however, came on January 4 when Israeli troops evacuated some 110 Gazans — half of whom were children — into a single-residence house in the Zeitoun neighborhood and warned them to stay indoors.
Twenty-four hours later, the soldiers shelled the home incessantly, killing more than 30 of the people inside the house.
A UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, recently declared that most Israeli actions against the shell-shocked population of Gaza “appear to have all the elements of war crimes”.
Tel Aviv has not ratified the 1998 Rome Statute; therefore, Israeli leaders cannot be brought before the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Signatories to the Geneva Convention, however, can prosecute those involved in the three-week assault on Gaza as culpable for war crimes. “”” [PRESS TV]