CAIRO: The Israeli army attacked Gaza Strip on Monday morning and witnesses reported seeing white smoke, believed to be caused by phosphorus bombs. Doctors claimed receiving “charred bodies,” Al-Quds news website reported Monday.
Israel resumed attacks on Gaza on Monday, Wafa News Agency reported. Paramedics pulled out 26 corpses buried under the remains of a house in Khan Younis, which was struck by an F-16 air strike.
The Palestinian Health Ministry reported the overall death toll reached 500 and more than 3,150 injured. Israel also attacked Shajaieh, which witnessed more than 70 deaths in a violent operation on Sunday, Rafah, and southern and central Gaza, Al-Quds added.
Israel has also been using “flechette shells,” according to The Guardian on July 20; the Palestinian Center for Human Rights claimed six of those shells were used in military operations on Gaza on July 17.
The Israeli military did not consider their use of weapons as violations of international humanitarian laws, The Guardian reported, but human groups view the employment of such weapons more likely to take the lives of civilians.
Israel previously used white phosphorus bombs on Gaza residents even though its use was condemned by human rights organizations in 2009. “Israel’s repeated firing of white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released in March 2009.
According to Protocol III of the U.N.’s Conventional Weapons ban, phosphorus is categorized as an incendiary weapon prohibited from being used against civilians and in air strikes on military forces located in civilian areas.
In January 2009, The Guardian published a video of a 13-year-old boy’s burns, a result of attacked by white phosphorus. According to Federation of American Scientists online, the chemical substance can lead to second and third degrees thermal and chemical burns and can keep damaging the tissue if particles infiltrate through other wounds.