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Israel Shells U.N. Building in Gaza and Media Center -- Charged With Using White Phosphorus

 
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:18 am
Israel Shells U.N. Building in Gaza and Media Center -- Charged With Using White Phosphorus
By E&P Staff and The Associated Press
Published: January 15, 2009

Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, the U.N. and witnesses said, engulfing the compound and the main warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food intended for Palestinian refugees. The U.N. chief, in Israel for the day, demanded a "full explanation."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region to end the devastating offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers, said the Israeli defense minister told him there had been a "grave mistake."

An Israeli spokesman said the bombardment, which left three people wounded, was under investigation.

"It was a very difficult combat situation in the immediate vicinity of the building. It could have been stray fire. It could have been Hamas fire. Israel does not target U.N. facilities or U.N. personnel," said the spokesman, Mark Regev.

Even as a top Israeli envoy went to Egypt to discuss a cease-fire proposal, the military pushed farther into Gaza in an apparent effort to step up pressure on Hamas. Ground forces thrust deep into a crowded neighborhood for the first time, sending terrified residents fleeing for cover. Shells also struck a hospital, five high-rise apartment buildings and a building housing media outlets in Gaza City, injuring several journalists.

Bullets also entered another building housing The Associated Press offices, entering a room where two staffers were working but wounding no one. The Foreign Press Association, representing journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, demanded a halt to attacks on press buildings.

The army had collected the locations of media organizations at the outset of fighting to avoid such attacks.

Israel launched its war on Dec. 27 in an effort to stop militant rocket fire from Gaza that has terrorized hundreds of thousands of Israelis. Some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians, according to U.N. and Palestinian medical officials. Gaza health official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said at least 50 people were killed throughout Gaza on Thursday.

Thirteen Israelis also have been killed since the campaign began. Israel says it will press ahead until Hamas halts the rocket fire and stops smuggling weapons into Gaza from neighboring Egypt.

Fox News and The New York Times, among other outlets, reported claims by U.N. officials that the fire was started because the Israelis had used white phosphorus shells. These charges have been rising this week, from human rights groups and civilians whose children have been severely burned.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 5,270 • Replies: 57
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 01:59 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
The Israelis are complete shits. And war criminals. Israel is both a failed and a rogue state. The 60 year Zionist experiment in Palestine has failed.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:08 pm

Controversial.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:11 pm
@McTag,
well I've not said much lately. because thats how I feel.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:11 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

Israel Shells U.N. Building in Gaza and Media Center -- Charged With Using White Phosphorus
By E&P Staff and The Associated Press
Published: January 15, 2009


Fox News and The New York Times, among other outlets, reported claims by U.N. officials that the fire was started because the Israelis had used white phosphorus shells. These charges have been rising this week, from human rights groups and civilians whose children have been severely burned.



I would very much like to see the white phosphorus claims either refuted or substantiated. I cannot imagine this stuff being used as antipersonnel weapons.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 02:17 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

I cannot imagine this stuff being used as antipersonnel weapons.
why not? It is very nasty to the person. If you want to burn children, its ideal.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 03:09 pm
@Steve 41oo,
So, we have different understandings of warfare.

Kidding - I know better.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:02 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
I would very much like to see the white phosphorus claims either refuted or substantiated.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5470047.ece?sub=wp
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:58 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks. That's unconscionable. Grant, somehow, that the intended purpose is the production of smoke, this is unacceptable anywhere near people. A white phosphorus burn is like no other.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:07 pm
@roger,
The US used it as an incendiary antipersonnel weapon in Iraq.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_use_in_Iraq#Second_major_assault_on_Fallujah
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:24 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I don't defend such use, regardless of who uses it.
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:27 pm
Bookmark
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:27 pm
@roger,
Can't say that I have a strong position either way. It's hard to quantify whether it's a more horrible way to die than from more "conventional" weapons for me.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:32 pm
@Robert Gentel,
It's not just a horrible way to die, it's a horrible way to live.

I know where you're coming from, though. At least I think I do. There's nothing especially picturesque about standard, everyday gunshot wounds, either. I've known, or had at least some acquaintance with four people who became shot. Only one died - none were satisfied with the ultimate outcome.

roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:33 pm
@Montana,
Tag, don't bookmark. Anyway, I've agreed with him before - maybe twice.
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:41 pm
@roger,
Knew nothing about tagging. How do I do that?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 11:41 pm
@roger,
Yeah, that's pretty much what I was saying. Weapons aren't warm and fuzzy even if they are conventional. I care more about weapon discrimination for matters of scale, and ability to discriminate between civilians and combatants.

So cluster bombs, nuclear weapons (radioactivity, scale), land mines, and sometimes even use of air power instead of boots on the ground tend to bother me more than exotic weapons.

Israel has a lot of tactics (like use of literal human shields) that are far more objectionable to me.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:30 am

It doesn't matter what sort of device kills you, but it makes a lot of difference to the doctors dealing with survivors and of course, to the survivors themselves. Conventional shrapnel wounds are to a certain extent manageable under harsh conditions but burns need specialized intensive care and something like DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) most doctors will never have had to deal with before.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/01/06/18559023.php

Cancers are also another issue with regards using unconventional weapons
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:45 am
@Endymion,
White phosphorus is different from all the above. It burns spontaneously on contact with air. You can put out the fire by immersing in water. Remove the body part from water, and it reignites. If it burns into the flesh far enough to cut off the air, the fire goes out. Doctor tries to treat it, and it reignites. Hope this explains my repulsion to its use as a weapon.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 12:55 am

i'm positive you know a lot more about it than i do Roger
not everyone dies - that's all i meant - the afterwards bit
 

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