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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Israel WMD use in Gaza alarms NAM

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 18:41:01 GMT | PressTV

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has condemned the use of "chemical weapons" by Israel in its recent operations against the Gaza Strip.

The NAM condemnation came after Tel Aviv was charged with the use of the controversial white phosphorous -- also known by the military as WP or Willie Pete -- shells during its recent three-week war on the Gaza Strip.

White phosphorus, classified as a chemical weapon by US intelligence, is used in munitions to mark enemy targets and to produce smoke for concealing troop movement. It can also be used as an incendiary device to firebomb enemy positions.

If particles of ignited white phosphorus land on a person's skin, they burn right through flesh to the bone. Toxic phosphoric acid can also be released into wounds, risking phosphorus poisoning.

Exposure to white phosphorus smoke in the air can also cause liver, kidney, heart, lung and bone damage and can even lead to death.

In a statement issued on Thursday at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the 114-member group called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) "to do its duty in this regard" and to help the Gazan victims of the Israeli aggression.

Addressing the conference, Geneva-based Iranian diplomat Ali-Reza Moayyeri urged the global community and the OPCW to launch an investigation into the use of illegal weapons by Israel in Gaza.

He further called on international organizations to step up pressure on Israel to halt its "weapons of mass destruction program".

International organizations and human rights groups continue to voice concern over Tel Aviv's use of forbidden arms, such as depleted uranium and white phosphorus, in the war on Gaza which has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,330 Palestinians and the injury of thousands of others.

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