Israel: No White Phosphorous Fired in Gaza War

(Reuters) Dan Williams - Israel fired almost five times more artillery shells into Gaza during the last month of fighting than in the 2008-2009 war there but did not use controversial white phosphorous this time, IDF artillery chief Brig.-Gen. Roy Riftin said Tuesday. Israeli gunners masked troop advances with locally-made M116 "gray smoke" rounds that contain no white phosphorous. Smoke produced by M116 shells disperses more quickly than white phosphorous smoke, so more of them had to be used, Riftin said, putting the number at around half of some 34,000 artillery rounds his corps fired since July 8, as well as hundreds of camera-guided Tammuz ground-to-ground missiles. Riftin said that, in the current fighting, heavier shelling with high-explosive rounds was required to dislodge Palestinians who, though outgunned, were more effectively dug in and killed 64 Israeli troops in urban combat. "In the places where we had to protect our forces, because they were under huge risk, we did what was necessary," he said.

2014-08-13 00:00:00

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