While dismissing many of the allegations made in Richard Goldstone's UN report on the war, Israel has reportedly disciplined two high-ranking officers for ordering the use of controversial white phosphorus during its invasion of Gaza in early 2009.
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The Israeli military has reportedly disciplined two high-ranking officers for ordering the use of white phosphorus during its invasion of Gaza last year. The shells were fired at a UN compound and caused injuries to several within it, though Israel initially denied any use of the incendiary weapon.
The details emerged in a report Israel released over the weekend that detailed its own investigation into the conflict and dismissed many of the allegations made in a United Nations report on the war spearheaded by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone report, as it is known, found evidence of war crimes committed by both Israel and the Islamist movement in charge of the Gaza Strip, Hamas.
Among the war crimes Israel has been accused of committing in last year’s Gaza offensive, the use of white phosphorus munitions has been among the most controversial. The munitions are filled with felt soaked in the chemical that sticks to buildings and human flesh, and burns for an extended period of time. Inhalation of the fumes can also be hazardous. The Goldstone report noted that the military use of white phosphorus is not prohibited under international law, but criticized the way in which Israel had used it and the chemical's impact on Gaza residents.
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