IDF to remove most white phosphorus from arsenal

May 14, 2013 03:37

In a major change in military tactics, the IDF will mostly stop using white phosphorus to create smoke screens during military operations, the state attorney told the High Court of Justice on Monday.

Israel’s use of white-phosphorus munitions during the 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead drew international criticism and received special scrutiny in the Goldstone Report.

While white phosphorus can be legally used under the laws of armed conflict to mask troop movements on battlefields, Goldstone and many human rights groups have criticized the IDF for using the substance in densely-populated Gaza because it poses significantly increased fire risks in such an environment.

Exposure to the substance can have particularly grisly effects – including chemical burns down to the bone and wounds which can reignite days later when bandages are removed – said HRW.

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