The occupying regime of Israel is using flechette shells, which spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal metal darts, in its military invasion in Gaza, the British daily The Guardian reported.
Six flechette shells were fired towards the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, on 17 July, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Nahla Khalil Najjar, 37, suffered injuries to her chest, it said. PCHR provided a picture of flechettes taken by a fieldworker last week.
The Zionist military did not deny using the shells in the conflict. “As a rule, the IDF only employs weapons that have been determined lawful under international law, and in a manner which fully conforms with the laws of armed conflict,” a spokesperson said in response to a request for specific comment on the deployment of flechettes.
B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, describes a flechette shell as “an anti-personnel weapon that is generally fired from a tank. The shell explodes in the air and releases thousands of metal darts 37.5mm in length, which disperse in a conical arch 300 meters long and about 90 meters wide”.
The munitions are not prohibited under international humanitarian law, but according to B’Tselem, “other rules of humanitarian law render their use in the Gaza Strip illegal. One of the most fundamental principles is the obligation to distinguish between those who are involved and those who are not involved in the fighting, and to avoid to the extent possible injury to those who are not involved. Deriving from this principle is the prohibition of the use of an imprecise weapon which is likely to result in civilian injuries”.
The Zionist regime has deployed flechette shells in Gaza and Lebanon before. B’Tselem has documented the deaths of nine Palestinians in Gaza from flechettes in 2001 and 2002. Flechettes have also killed and wounded dozens of civilians, including women and children, in conflicts between the occupying regime of Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Zionist military deployed artillery shells containing white phosphorous in densely populated areas of Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and 2009, causing scores of deaths and extensive burns. It initially issued a categorical denial of reports of the use of white phosphorous, but later admitted it, saying the weapon was only used to create smokescreens.
Human Rights Watch said its use of the munitions in Operation Cast Lead was indiscriminate and evidence of war crimes.
In response to a legal challenge, the Zionist regime said last year it would “avoid the use in built-up areas of artillery shells containing white phosphorus, with two narrow exceptions”. The exceptions were not disclosed.
But on Monday, Zionist aerial and ground forces were using white phosphorus bombs to pound several residential areas across the besieged Gaza Strip, several reporters on the ground said.
Just recently, a Norwegian doctor in the besieged coastal enclave criticized the occupying regime for using cancer-inducing bombs against Palestinian civilians.
Medics says some Palestinians in the besieged enclave have been wounded by a new type of weapon that even doctors with previous experience in war zones do not recognize.
Israel also used depleted-uranium in the besieged region during previous assaults.
Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday defended the growing civilian toll in his invasion of the Gaza Strip, particularly the deaths in attacks on the Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, while touting the ongoing war as a “historic battle” for the occupying regime’s survival.
The indiscriminate shelling and bombing of the district left more than 100 people dead, with mutilated bodies of women and children lying in the streets as they frantically tried to flee the attack.
Netanyahu insisted that “we asked in every way for the civilian population to leave” and that Hamas was to blame for every civilian who wasn’t able to flee the onslaught.
Some 50,000 Gazans have already fled their homes, but given the strip’s tiny size and that neither the occupying regime of Israel nor Egypt is letting in civilian refugees, there aren’t really places for them to go.
Netanyahu claimed that the “international legitimacy” of the invasion was not in question and that Israel enjoys “very strong support” worldwide for continuing the attacks.
By the international legitimacy, he apparently meant the U.S. and its allies as Secretary of State John Kerry travelled to Cairo to negotiate a ceasefire.
A lot of U.S. officials don’t seem ready for the war to end either, and Kerry had reportedly been “warned” against going to Cairo. The U.S. Senate is also unanimously pushing a non-binding resolution endorsing the Israeli invasion.
The U.S. resolution not only backs the continued Israeli invasion, but also demands Hamas end all resistance to the attacks, and demands the Palestinian Authority sever all ties with Hamas.
Kerry’s own position is somewhat muddled, as publicly he is towing the line on the Zionist regime’s “right to defend itself” by attacking the Gaza Strip, while being caught by a live mic privately expressing frustration about the civilian toll, particularly the large number of children the occupying regime of Israel has killed. When confronted about the contrast, Kerry defaulted back to the pro-Israel position.