Israel’s army says it will soon halt its use of white phosphorus shells, after years of international criticism for using the munitions.
The army said in a statement on Thursday that it would replace white phosphorus shells with ones based entirely on gas. Officials didn’t offer further details, nor did they give a specific date for when they would retire the shells.
Israel came under heavy criticism after the three-week winter war in Gaza in 2008 and 2009 against the territory’s Hamas terror leadership for using white phosphorous shells. During the conflict, shells were used near a UN warehouse where more than 700 Palestinians were sheltering.
White phosphorus can be used legally in some battlefield situations; Israel’s use of it during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza drew war-crimes allegations from the UN.