Israeli troops used phosphorus shells in Gaza

The light green 155mm shells are white phosphorus rounds

Israel has admitted — after facing mounting pressure — that its troops might have used banned white phosphorus shells during its three-week Gaza offensive. As the last Israeli troops left the Gaza Strip, the military said it would look at claims by the United Nations and human rights groups that it improperly used the munition, in contravention of international law.

In another repercussion of foreign condemnation of Israeli tactics, the military made an unprecedented decision on Wednesday to conceal the identities of field commanders who had been interviewed by the Israeli media. Military censors decided shortly before the airing and publication of the interviews that names would be withheld and faces blurred in television reports.

The decision results from concerns about attempts to pursue war crimes prosecutions against Israeli officials in foreign courts. During a visit to the Southern Command, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told soldiers that the Government would protect them “like a fortified wall” against potential prosecutions, according to news reports.

Nothing new about Israeli war crimes. The murder of thousands of civilians is always justified by Israeli politicians – and their loyal followers – who are convinced one Israeli life is worth dozens of Arabs. And the occupied land is worth even more.

5 thoughts on “Israeli troops used phosphorus shells in Gaza

  1. cinaedh says:

    I respectfully disagree with your conclusion and when I say ‘respectfully’, I mean it, it’s not just a turn of phrase.

    If what you say is true, there would be no room for Israelis before the War Crimes Tribunal because they’d have to spend at least the next hundred years trying soldiers and politicians from the U.S.A, Canada, Great Britain and other NATO countries.

    If someone is firing rockets into my country from their country, we’re at war.

    If we’re at war, you’re damned right the life of one of my citizen-soldiers is worth hundreds, if not thousands, if not tens of thousands of the lives of their citizen soldiers.

    Civilians die in wars, especially wars where the enemy deliberately chooses not to wear a uniform.

  2. moss says:

    War crimes are war crimes are war crimes. Yes, US torture of detainees is as despicable as firing phosphorus cannon shells into cities – or dropping cluster bombs on civilians.

    I don’t see much of anyone here trying to defend Israeli crimes by saying the Brits and US shouldn’t also be prosecuted.

    The bigoted Israeli attitude predates whatever weapons Arabs in occupied and/or surrounded lands have access to lately. A homemade rocket with no directional capabilities is what you have to fight back with – against an Air Force and tanks – then that’s what you use.

    Most folks still do not accept the Israelis have some god-given right to occupy all the territory they have taken by force of arms over the past 40 years.

    There were Israeli politicians who agreed to return that land. They were killed or jailed by Israelis.

  3. Cinaedh says:


    War crimes are war crimes only if a witness survives. Otherwise, most soldiers would be in jail.

    There are native Canadian and native American first peoples who argue with precisely the same logic as the Palestinians. I suppose that would justify the firing of rockets from Reservations, randomly into U.S. and Canadian cities and towns?

    Are you willing to hand over your house or would you fight to keep it?

    What would happen to U.S. politicians who advocated handing North America back to native Americans… or returning great swaths of territory to the Mexicans, for that matter? So much for Texas!

    Many Scots would also have the same arguments when it comes to the English. Perhaps we are among them?

    I guess my point is this: often justice is purely a matter of perspective.

  4. moss says:

    @Cinaedh – don’t disagree about perspective; but, that’s why – when people ask me if I consider myself a patriotic American, I respond, “I’m embarrassed to admit I’m from Earth.”

    I used to live and work in the Navajo Nation. I didn’t waste any time trying to justify the massacres committed (for example) at Canyon de Chelly by that great American hero Kit Carson.

    Some wounds aren’t going to be healed by time even when it’s impossible to reverse a couple of centuries of politics. In Israel, most call for the return of what was stolen over the past 40 years. Significant difference in scale.

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