Allegations of Israel’s use of chemical weapons not yet proved: UN
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 23 / Trend , U.Sadigova/
UN will not make premature statements, but will await the international organizations' final report on Israel's use of chemical weapons during the hostilities in Gaza, said a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Brenden Varma.
"Until any determination of possible crimes is made, it is premature to talk about UN follow-up action [on Israel]," Varma wrote Trend via e-mail.
On Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry confirmed the allegations of the illegal use of banned white phosphorus during the three-week offensive in Gaza against Hamas, but has not yet presented exact data. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said it had launched investigation into the numerous allegations of human rights and media organizations on the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population.
The UN has not spoke out on Israel's use of phosphoric weapons, as is awaiting the final reply of the UN Human Rights Council, which has its own independent mandate and is probing allegations against the Israel Defense Forces, Varma said.
"Allegations of violations [use of chemical weapons] should be thoroughly investigated and full explanations are needed. Where violations are found to have taken place, accountability must be ensured," he said.
White phosphorous is a very dangerous chemical weapon, RIA Novosti quoted Human Rights Watch researcher Bill Van Esveld.
"Falling to the ground,
phosphorus continues to burn. It can burn buildings. It sticks to the skin and
burns the muscles, killing the man," says Bill.
White phosphorus is allowed to use for protection from attacks and for creating smokescreen on the battlefield.
Arab media reported at
least 200 phosphorous bombs were dropped on the Gaza Strip during the Operation
Cast Lead. BBC quoted Palestinian medics as saying that 1,300 Palestinians were
killed and 5,500 wounded as a result of the offensive.
The total damage is assessed at 1.5 billion dollars.
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