Israel admits possession of munitions containing white phosphorus

Israel admits possession of munitions containing white phosphorus

Army statement comes after concerns over report suggesting Israel used US-supplied white phosphorus in attack in southern Lebanon

By Zain Khalil

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli army has said it owns munitions with white phosphorus for other purposes rather than attacks.

“We have smoke shells containing white phosphorus, intended for camouflage, and not for the purpose of attacking or starting fires,” the official Israeli Army Radio said on Monday.

The Israeli statement came after the White House expressed concern on Monday over a report suggesting that Israel used US-supplied white phosphorus in an attack in southern Lebanon.

“Like many Western armies, the Israeli army also possesses smoke shells containing white phosphorus, which is legal according to international law,” the Israeli Army Radio said.

It added that the munitions “are not legally defined as incendiary weapons.”

The Washington Post reported on the Oct. 16 Israeli attack in Dheira, a Lebanese town near the border with Israel, in which, as the report claimed, Israel used US-supplied white phosphorus munitions and at least nine civilians were wounded.

The human rights group Amnesty International called for an investigation into the attack, labeling it as a potential war crime.

Among the nine injured in the attack, at least three were hospitalized, one for days, according to the report.

Anadolu has also taken some photographs showing the use of white phosphorus bombs on civilians in Gaza, while several lawyers said they can be used as evidence in a complaint against Israel.

Since Oct. 7, tensions have flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of gunfire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah in the deadliest clashes since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.

The border tension comes amid an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas.

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