Israeli defence forces say they are not using illegal weapons

January 12th, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Jan.12 (ANI): The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has rejected accusations that it is using illegal arms in its war against the Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Responding to a Human Rights Watch allegation that the army was firing artillery shells packed with white phosphorus, an incendiary agent, over populated areas, including a crowded refugee camp, and putting civilians at risk, the IDF was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying it only used “munitions in accordance with international law.”
The substance can cause serious burns if it touches the skin and can spark fires on the ground, the rights group said in a written announcement calling on Israel not to use it in crowded areas.
The IDF came under similar criticism during the Second Lebanon War for its use of cluster bombs.
White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon, and militaries are permitted under the laws of warfare to use it in artillery shells, bombs and rockets to create smoke screens to hide troop movements, as well as bright bursts in the air to illuminate battlefields at night.
Human Rights Watch said it had no way to investigate whether anyone was injured on the ground because its researchers have been barred by Israel from entering Gaza. (ANI)

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