Israel Admits Phosphorous Bombs
Used in Lebanon
By Helen McCormack
The Independent UK
Monday 23 October 2006
The Israeli government has admitted for the first time that it used controversial phosphorous bombs during its 34-day war campaign in Lebanon.
Cabinet Minister Jacob Edery confirmed that the army had used the bombs to attack "military targets" during its war with Hizbollah in July and August. Previously, Israel had said the bombs had only been used to mark out targets.
During the conflict, doctors in Lebanon reported treating civilians who appeared to have been hit by the shells, which leave their victims with severe chemical wounds that can be fatal.
The reports led the Lebanese President, Emile Lahoud, to accuse Israel of breaching the Geneva Convention, which bans the use of white phosphorous both as an incendiary weapon against civilians and in air attacks against military forces in civilian areas. Yesterday, reports in the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz revealed that Mr Edery confirmed to parliament last week that it had used the bombs during its operations this summer.
He did not, however, provide details on whether it had been used in any civilian areas, but maintained that the weapons had been used "according to international law".
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