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A non-governmental organization accuses Israel of violating international humanitarian law by using white phosphorus weapons in Gaza

A non-governmental organization accuses Israel of violating international humanitarian law by using white phosphorus weapons in Gaza

Palestinians say Israel is targeting more residential areas on Thursday

Photo: Reproduction/Al Jazeera

International non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch Accused Israel to use White phosphorus In military operations in the city Gaza And in rural areas of Lebanon on the border with Israel. The entity, which is considered a reference in the world, analyzed video clips taken in these areas on the 10th and 11th of this month, showing multiple air explosions of white phosphorus fired by artillery over the cities. In addition, the NGO conducted interviews with people who described attacks in Gaza.

White phosphorus in the human body:

  • The substance is capable of burning a person to the bone, because it is highly soluble in fat and therefore in human flesh.
  • If fragments of white phosphorus reach the bloodstream, they can cause multi-organ failure.
  • Wounds that have already been treated by the substance can flare up again when the bandages are removed and the wounds are re-exposed to oxygen.
  • Even relatively minor burns are often fatal.
  • For survivors, extensive scarring strains muscle tissue and causes physical disabilities.
  • The trauma of the attack, the painful treatment that follows, and the scars that change his appearance can lead to psychological damage and social exclusion.

White phosphorus is a substance that has a significant incendiary effect and can seriously burn people and set fire to buildings, fields and other nearby civilian objects. According to the NGO, the use of such a substance in Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, increases the risks to the local population and violates international humanitarian laws that prohibit exposing civilians to unnecessary risks.

“Whenever white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a significant risk of painful burns and lifelong suffering,” said Lama Fakih, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “White phosphorus is illegally indiscriminate when it explodes in populated urban areas, where it can burn homes and cause catastrophic harm to civilians.”


White phosphorus ignites when exposed to atmospheric oxygen and continues to burn until it is deprived of oxygen or exhausted. Its chemical reaction can generate intense heat (about 815°C), light and smoke.

Even with the complaint filed by Human Rights Watch, the Israeli authorities have not yet confirmed whether or not they have used white phosphorus in the ongoing attacks.

Understanding the conflict involving Israel, Palestine and HamasUnderstanding the conflict involving Israel, Palestine and Hamas

Source: Redacao Terra

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