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Sunday, January 25, 2009

UN called to action against Israel

Sun, 25 Jan 2009 10:00:55 GMT | PressTV

Israeli military officials have admitted to having used white phosphorus in the 23-day assault on Gaza.
Iran calls on the UN to take legal action against Israel after its soldiers admitted to the illegal use of white phosphorous in Gaza.

The Iranian ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, called on the United Nations on Sunday to address international concern over possible war crimes committed by Tel Aviv in its recent military operations in Gaza.

"Israel's extreme measures against Gazans constitute a breach of humanitarian law," Khazaee affirmed in a meeting with Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ambassadors in New York.

After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, the Israeli military finally admitted Friday that it had pounded the Palestinian coast with at least twenty white phosphorus bombs.

The 1980 third Convention on Conventional Weapons has banned the use of white phosphorus as a weapon, even against military targets situated within population centers.

International attorneys have filed war crime charges against 15 Israeli political and military officials, including Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak.

Israeli officials cannot be tried by the International Court of Justice at The Hague because Tel Aviv is not a signatory to the Rome Statute.

Signatories to the Geneva Convention, however, can prosecute those involved in the 23-day assault on Gaza as culpable of war crimes.

Israeli organizations have thus been warning upper echelons in Tel Aviv against going abroad over fears of arrests.

Israel has expressed surprised over the public outcry caused by the use of white phosphorus -- a deadly substance which makes a distinctive shell burst of dozens of smoke trails.

"Everyone knew we were using it, and everyone else uses it. We didn't think it would get this much attention," an Israeli military official told the Times on condition of anonymity.

The Israeli military has recently confessed to also having used the highly-incendiary munitions during its 33-day war on Lebanon in 2006.

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