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Israel's Goldstone response admits use of white phosphorus

Feb. 1, 2010 9:14 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2010 7:59 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli findings delivered to the UN in response to the Goldstone report compound allegations that white phosphorus munitions were deployed toward an UNRWA compound in Gaza during last year's devastating offensive, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The incident occurred two days before the end of Operation Cast Lead on 15 January 2009, in southern Gaza's Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood, the Israeli daily Haretz reported.

White phosphorus smoke was used to create a cover, according to the report, to shield Israeli forces from combatants' view, who were in close proximity to the UNRWA compound.

The munitions dispersed hundreds of pieces of felt loaded with phosphorus and the report said these pieces landed into the UNRWA compound, causing injury to an UNRWA employee and to two Palestinian civilians who took cover at the location, the daily wrote.

The Israeli government's findings assert that this endangered human life, acknowledging international allegations.

Gaza Division Commander Brigadier General Eyal Eisenberg and Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ilan Malka were the subject of disciplinary action after headquarters staff found that the men exceeded their authority in approving the use of phosphorus shells that endangered human life, the Israeli government report said, according to Haaretz.
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