With foreign observers starting to enter Gaza, it is undeniably clear that Israel committed war crimes over the last three weeks (including the bombing of nearly 70 schools).
Doctors operating the only brain-scanning machine at an Egyptian hospital near Gaza have been almost overwhelmed by the number of Palestinian children arriving with bullet wounds to the head.
Amnesty International delegates visiting the Gaza Strip found indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north.
“Yesterday, we saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army,” said Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert who is in Gaza as part of a four-person Amnesty International fact-finding team.
“White phosphorus is a weapon intended to provide a smokescreen for troop movements on the battlefield,” said Cobb-Smith. “It is highly incendiary, air burst and its spread effect is such that it that should never be used on civilian areas”.
“Such extensive use of this weapon in Gaza’s densely populated residential neighbourhoods is inherently indiscriminate. Its repeated use in this manner, despite evidence of its indiscriminate effects and its toll on civilians, is a war crime,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s researcher on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.