Israel raining banned phosphorous bombs on Gaza as death toll climbs to 2,100
Palestine has accused Israel of using white phosphorus bombs against civilians in Karama
TEL AVIV (AFP) – At least 1,200 Israelis have been killed in the surprise attacks by Hamas, an Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson said on Wednesday.
According to estimates, the conflict has claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides.
Israel stepped up its ensuing offensive on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, pounding neighbourhoods with air strikes.
At least 30 people have been killed and hundreds wounded as Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with hundreds of air strikes overnight, a Hamas government official said on Wednesday.
Dozens of residential buildings, factories, mosques and shops were hit, the head of the government's media office, Salama Marouf, told AFP.
The Israeli military confirmed it had hit several Hamas targets during the night.
It said fighter jets destroyed "advanced detection systems" that Hamas used to spot military aircraft.
Meanwhile, the military said Israeli troops have killed at least 1,000 Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated from Gaza in incursions that began at the weekend, and have reinforced all communities in Israel as hostilities spread to other fronts.
In quotes carried by Israel Hayom newspaper online, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari also said that among Hamas targets destroyed in a Gaza counteroffensive was an advanced system for tracking aircraft.
Palestine has accused Israel of using white phosphorus bombs against civilians in the Karama neighborhood of Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli occupation is using internationally banned white phosphorus bombs against the Palestinians in the Karama neighborhood in northern Gaza,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said on X, formerly twitter, on Tuesday.
Rami Abdo, the founder of the European Observatory for Human Rights, posted a video clip on the X platform of what he said was Israel’s use of phosphorus bombs.
Israeli warplanes and artillery use internationally #prohibited_white_phosphorus, destroying #Al_Karama neighborhood in the northwest of Gaza City with a continuous series of airstrikes. There are casualties and wounded, while ambulances and civil defense vehicles are unable to… pic.twitter.com/ym7zfKqIBH— State of Palestine - MFA (@pmofa) October 10, 2023
“Israeli military forces are using toxic white phosphorus [bombs] on densely populated areas northwest of Gaza City,” he wrote.
The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch had earlier cited reports of Israel’s use of white phosphorus bombs in Gaza during past conflicts, according to Anadolu.
The use of white phosphorus weapons to generate a smokescreen and cover troop movements is legally accepted, but the 1980 Geneva Convention forbids its use in densely populated areas.
There was no comment from Israel on the claim.
On Monday, Arabic-language Al Alam news channel reported use of phosphorous bombs by the Israeli regime.
A report by the news channel said the Israeli regime’s military had fired white phosphorus shells over residential areas in Gaza earlier in the day.
The use of white phosphorus shells for direct targeting of enemy positions is illegal under international law as the practice can amount to war crime and cause widespread fatalities.
Israel admitted to “using munitions containing white phosphorus” during its 2008-09 war on Gaza but the regime denied violating international law by insisting that such weapons were not fired into areas populated by civilians.
260,000 DISPLACED IN GAZA
More than 260,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the Gaza Strip, as heavy Israeli bombardments from the air, land and sea continue to hit the Palestinian enclave, the United Nations said.
"Over 263,934 people in Gaza are believed to have fled their homes," said UN humanitarian agency OCHA said in an update Tuesday, warning that "this number is expected to rise further".
It said that around 3,000 people had been displaced "due to previous escalations", prior to Saturday.
The bombing campaign has destroyed more than 1,000 housing units, and 560 have been so severely damaged they are uninhabitable, OCHA said, citing Palestinian authorities.