Israel Disciplines Military Officials Over UN Compound Attack
Israeli officials have admitted responsibility for an artillery attack which caused a UN compound in the Gaza strip to catch fire. In a recent report released to the UN, Israeli officials document the activity of Operation Cast Lead – an offensive in the Gaza strip which took place in early 2009. The UN General Assembly demanded that both Israel and Hamas conduct internal investigations and report on internal conduct during this conflict as it related to potential war crimes. The artillery strike in question included the use of white phosphorus shells which are used to lay smoke-screens. The use of these shells is permitted in flat, open ground scenarios; but, their use is strictly prohibited by international conventions in built-up areas populated by civilians. Stray shells from the strike hit the UN compound causing it to catch fire. Palestinian civilians, as well as UN staff, were treated for phosphorus burns. The two military officials identified in the report have been reprimanded, and it has been noted on their personal records. Israeli officials stated that there is potential for criminal charges to be brought against these two military officials, but that charges have not been filed as of yet. Read more at BBC.