I’d like your opinions.
Israel today shelled the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) with white phosphorus:
Mr Ban (Ki Moon) told reporters in Tel Aviv that he had expressed “strong protest and outrage” to the Israeli Government over the shelling of the compound and was demanding an investigation. He said that Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, had told him it was “a grave mistake”.
UNWRA, which looks after some four million Palestinian refugees around the region, suspended its operations in Gaza after the attack, in which it said three of its employees had been injured.
Chris Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman, said that the building had been used to shelter hundreds of people fleeing Israel’s 20-day offensive in Gaza. He said that pallets with supplies desperately needed by Palestinians in Gaza were on fire.
“What more stark symbolism do you need?” he said. “You can’t put out white phosphorus with traditional methods such as fire extinguishers. You need sand, we don’t have sand.”
The Israeli military has denied using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza offensive, although an investigation by The Times has revealed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza have sustained serious injuries from the substance, which burns at extremely high temperatures.
The Geneva Convention of 1980 proscribes the use of white phosphorus as a weapon of war in civilian areas, although it can be used to create a smokescreen. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said today that all weapons used in Gaza were “within the scope of international law”.
A grave mistake eh? Like the shelling of Palestinians the IDF had themselves led to shelter? Like the shelling of UN-run schools, which by every account had no involvement in shelling Israel or its forces? I don’t think the IDF makes mistakes – I think past history shows it does as it pleases, and human rights or even human decency be damned.