Israel confirms use of phosphorus shells in war on Hezbollah
www.chinaview.cn 2006-10-23 09:40:52

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    BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- The Israeli government confirmed on Sunday it had used controversial phosphorus shells during its monthlong war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon this summer.

    The International Red Cross and other human rights organizations have urged a world ban on the munitions, saying they cause undue suffering through severe burns when coming into contact with human flesh.

    The Israeli admission was made by the cabinet minister, Jacob Edery, who was questioned on the subject by Zahava Gal-On, a member of the Knesset.

    Edery said: "The IDF (Israel Defence Force) holds phosphorus munitions in different forms. The IDF made use of phosphorus shells during the war against Hizbullah in attacks against military targets in open ground."

    Edery said that the Israeli army uses phosphorus weapons according to the rules of international law. However, there have been numerous reports that Israeli phosphorus munitions injured and killed civilians in Lebanon.

    The war began on July 12 when Israel launched air strikes on Lebanon after two of its soldiers were abducted by Hizbullah from the Israel-Lebanon border. Hizbullah then began firing rockets into northern Israel.

    Throughout the war, Israel was accused of using controversial weapons, including white phosphorus and cluster munitions against civilian targets. Both sides were accused of war crimes in their attacks on civilians by the human rights group, Human Rights Watch.

    Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday Israel would continue to carry out reconnaissance flights over Lebanon. The United Nations has criticized Israel for its continued violations of Lebanese air space.

    (Agencies)

Editor: Nie Peng
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