The White House expressed concern over accusations that Israel shelled Lebanon with US-made white phosphorus bullets and is looking for information.
The US Washington Post reported on December 11 that 9 civilians were injured in the shelling of southern Lebanon. Analysis of the shell fragments showed that they appeared to be white phosphorus shells produced in the United States in 1989 and 1992.
The information was announced more than a month after Lebanon accused Israel of repeatedly using white phosphorus bullets to attack targets in the country, causing more than 40,000 olive trees to burn.
“We have seen the information and are certainly very concerned about it. We are asking many questions to find out more. Whenever we provide weapons such as white phosphorus bullets to other countries, the US expects them to comply.” fully comply with the rules of war and ensure they are only used for lawful purposes,” said US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also said that Washington is seeking more information. “We always express concern whenever we discover that the use of white phosphorus bullets leads to danger to civilians,” he said.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant affirmed that the country’s army and security forces always comply with international law. “That’s our way of doing things,” he said.
According to international conventions, phosphorus weapons are prohibited from being used for civilian purposes but are still allowed to be deployed for military purposes, as well as to create smoke screens and provide illumination on the battlefield.
White phosphorus is flammable and can spontaneously ignite when exposed to air. They have the ability to stick to the skin, causing burns and damage to human bones. Victims often die from severe burns and inhaling toxic fumes from the burning reaction of white phosphorus.