Posted by: r.m. | January 14, 2009

white phosphorus

The Israelis used it against the Lebanese in 2006.

The Israelis used it against the Palestinians in Gaza in 2006 also.

And the Israelis are using it again against the Palestinians in Gaza now.

(And before them, the US military used it in its wars from Vietnam to Iraq.)

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh explains what this weapon is and its destructive impacts on human beings.

From that article:

What is it: “White Phosphorus (P4) is a waxy fat soluble colorless or slightly yellow solid with a garlic smell that is not naturally occurring but is produced in the laboratory.  It is highly reactive with oxygen (ignites spontaneously upon drying and exposure to air) producing compounds like P4O6 (phosphorus pentoxide) and P4O10 which upon contact with water becomes oxophosphoric acids (alternatively direct reaction with water can lead to phosphoric acid HPO4 through some intermediate compounds)…

“Health impact   …. cause death and injury when inhaled, ingested, or had contact with the skin (whether after burns or without burning) …White phosphorus burns can be lethal due to absorption of WP from the burned surface “which may result in multi-organ failure (mainly liver and kidneys)… Sudden death after phosphorus burns…Patients who survive for more than a week usually exhibit significant changes in fat and protein metabolism (including fatty degeneration) and severe jaundice … When WP burns in the air in conditions of high oxygen, it generates smoke with an average aerosol mass concentration between 2,500 and 3,000 mg/m3, with the major components being polyphosphates, phosphine, and elemental phosphorus… Acute (5-30 minute) exposures to WP smoke caused deaths in experimental rats, mice, guinea pigs, and goats at concentrations of orthophosphoric acid and phosphorus pentoxide well below those that occur in military usage …and [there is also the health effect from] the persistence of particles of WP in the environment”

Press TV Images of WP use in Gaza
Press TV Images of WP use in Gaza

…What kind of psychopathic mind designs these weapons?

and there are other weapons as well: Is Gaza a Testing Ground for Experimental Weapons?


  1. White phosphorus can exert its toxic effect when it’s inhaled, ingested (through fruits and vegetables that have been polluted), and when it comes in contact with the skin even without burning. The bad idea lying behind those 3 ways of transmission is that people who weren’t killed or injured directly by the bombardments will suffer fatty degeneration, jaundice and potentially death.In other words, no single person will escape the cruelty of this assault!
    In addition, WP will spread in the environment and affect all the countries of the region-including israel!(at least some good news 🙂 )

  2. white phosphorus is made by man in labs.i just don’t understand why people would make such harmful substances(not ust WP but all kind of weapons). what makes this especially dangerous is that WP can still cause significant harm to people even after the attacks since it can become airborne.

  3. its shocking and very sad to see that man can kill so many poeple with this brutal way without even caring about lives being killed and all the laws that restricts white phosphorous. why did they invent white phosphorous in the ifrst place? I would like to comment on what serge said about it affecting even israel but this isn’t our aim!our aim is to reduce the harm on earth as much as possible or eventaully we all are going to pay the price for what one country misuse did so I dont know if I can consider that as happy news!

  4. Guys this is one of the weapons used in Gaza..At least one that we know. Gaza now is turning into a testing field for weapons. to answer the question “what mind can create such a weapon”..i think any mind can do that but the question is what mind can use this weapon? only sick mind does ( as for nuclear weapons they all are equal). in one interview Israeli soldiers were asked about their feeling when they kill such many people. their answer was : the Arab people are so many, couple 1000s won’t affect them…This is the mind we are dealing with!!!

  5. Israelis Use of White Phosphorous Airburst Smoke Screening in Gaza
    Accrding to IHS Jane’s Weapons Technology Analyst commenting on the discussions surrounding the Israeli use of white phosherous agents in Gaza, “The round so far specified as being fired are the M825A1 which is purely an air-burst white phosherous smoke projectile.” the analyst said. ‘It’s construction and function is highly elaborate and I would say deliberately so to make it inappropriate for anti-personnel use’. M825A1 shell is not defined as an incendiary weapon by the Third Protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons because its principal use is to produce smoke to protect troops. White Phosphorous weapons banned by theprotocol are ground or low level burst weapons designed primarily for anti-personnel use. The primary function of the M825A1 is for the rapid creation of a highly effective, but short lived visible and infrared smoke screen.

    During the opening stages of Cast Lead land campaign, these munitions were employed at relatively low altitude, creating optimal obscuration for extended period of time. However, at the later stages, smoke screens were activated at higher elevation, thus eliminating much of the risk of collateral damage to non combatants. The activation height is determined by setting the time delay fuse for shorter activation.
    According to the London Times, Israel is using white phosphorus shells. The Times claimed these shells are clearly seen on stockpiles used by Israel’s artillery units operating near Gaza. The newspaper said Palestinian citizens had suffered burns caused by the weapons, claiming ‘The use of WP against civilians is prohibited under international law”. Phosphorus ignites on contact with oxygen and, according to the Times, is being used by the Israeli military to create smokescreens to allow its ground forces to operate.
    Israeli military spokeswoman referred to the projectile identified by the Times as a ‘quiet shell’. “It is empty, it has no explosives and no white phosphorus. There is nothing inside it… We shoot it to mark the target before we launch a real shell. We launch two or three of the quiet shells which are empty so that the real shells will be accurate. It’s not for killing people.”

  6. well i heard about these bombs but arent they supposed to be illegal…anyhow i have seen some pictures of what they do to the health of people recent pictures of gaza and its really horrifying…its is sad to see all this killing happening and the disasters we human will never ever learn….
    Sally El-Koussa
    EVSC 100

  7. If Israel can get away with it in Lebanon it can also get away with it in Gaza. The United Nation can’t do anything right. They make all these stupid laws to run the international community but they leave several loop holes and don’t even enforce it. Only when the enemies of the United States break any international rules do the United Nation try to enforce and place all sort of sanctions.
    “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population”.Ben Gurion quote when he become the Israel Prime Minister.

  8. Of course Israel denied that dangerous allegation of using internationally banned weapons against the citizens of Gaza. First of all it is targeting the so-called terrorists of Hamas and second these bombs are smoke bombs !!
    They can say whatever they want but they can’t change the truth however they tried.
    Israel previously used white phosphorus during its war with Lebanon in 2006 and it has been used frequently by British and US forces in recent wars, notably during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  9. Israel is using this bomb and achieving two goals: direct death of people, and indirect death of people with the white phosphorus’s effect on their health…
    But what they didnt take into account in this article, is the indirect effect of white phosphorus on people through enviromental pollution… Excess white phosphorus in the enviroment will break the enviromental equilibrium…
    Well, Israel is causing death through short and long term effects…

  10. Why are you talking about white phosphorous?? I followed the whole war on CNN and israeli newspapers, with reporters live from the action scene, and they assured us that there was nothing such as white phosphorous… so stop accusing them!!

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