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
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.