Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has allegedly resorted to using white phosphorus munitions in its strikes against Gaza, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry claimed in a social media post on Tuesday. It also posted a video showing the aftermath of an alleged strike using the incendiary weapon.
White phosphorus munitions are not banned as such under international law but their use is tightly regulated. Such munitions should not be used in densely populated areas, due to the acute threat the effect poses to civilians, according to the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
A video published by the Palestinian foreign ministry on X (formerly Twitter) shows a large, barren area near buildings and covered with a significant number of small flare-like objects that are still burning and releasing thick white smoke. No casualties or recent damage to the nearby buildings can be seen in the footage.
“The Israeli occupation is using internationally banned white phosphorus bombs against the Palestinians in the Karama neighborhood in northern Gaza,” the ministry alleges, in a caption with the clip.
Munitions filled with white phosphorus are commonly used by the military to create smokescreens and conceal the movement of troops, due to their ability to produce a large amount of smoke. It can also sometimes be used to mark enemy targets. However, they also have incendiary qualities that make them particularly dangerous for humans.