UN team: IDF used phosphorous weapons in Lebanon

A UN team carrying out an environmental assessment of Lebanon after this summer's Israel-Hizbullah war confirmed that the IDF used artillery containing white phosphorous but found no evidence of depleted uranium, a UN official said Tuesday. Achim Steiner, UN undersecretary-general and executive director of the UN Environment Program, said samples taken by scientists confirmed "the use of white phosphorous-containing artillery and mortar ammunition" by the IDF during the conflict. Last month, a cabinet minister said the army had used phosphorous artillery shells against Hizbullah guerrilla targets during their war, confirming Lebanese allegations for the first time. The Geneva Conventions ban using white phosphorous against civilians or civilian areas, and Israel has said the weapons were used solely against military targets.