Sunday, January 01, 2012

1-Jan-12: Incoming mortar attack on residential areas of southern Israel; they include phosphorus

AFP reports that two more mortar shells were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip this morning (Sunday). They landed in the Eshkol region, causing neither damage nor injuries which was not, of course, the intention of the terrorists who did the firing. The Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees militant group claimed responsibility. Following police forensic tests it became clear this afternoon, according to Ynet, that both shells contained phosphorus, not for the first time. The phosphorus in mortar shells, when exposed to air, burns through anything with which it comes in contact. The phosphorus ignites on contact with oxygen and continues to burn as long as the ignition substance inside remains in contact with oxygen. Phosphorus shells are mostly used to hit exposed infantry, create smoke screens, and obstruct visibility for forces on the ground. Phosphorus causes extensive burns and damage to internal organs. Such shells are illegal under international law when fired at civilians.

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