The Israeli Defence Force has denied allegations that it is using white phosphorus in Gaza, saying "the current accusation made against the IDF regarding the use of white phosphorus in Gaza is unequivocally false".
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday accused Israel of using white phosphorus in military operations in Gaza and Lebanon.
"The IDF has not deployed the use of such munitions," the army said.
White phosphorus ignites when exposed to atmospheric oxygen and can create intense heat of about 815C, light and smoke.
"Human Rights Watch verified videos taken in Lebanon and Gaza on October 10 and 11, 2023 respectively showing multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border, and interviewed two people who described an attack in Gaza," the organisation said in its statement.
"The use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life," Human Rights Watch said.
The use of white phosphorus on military targets is controversial but not prohibited.
The 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) bans the use of the incendiary bombs on civilians.
"Human Rights Watch also reviewed two videos from October 10 from two locations near the Israel-Lebanon border. Each shows 155 millimetres white phosphorus artillery projectiles being used, apparently as smokescreens, marking, or signalling," the statement said.
Australian Associated Press
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