Bombing a school

Remember seeing those shots of bombs hitting Gaza which sort of flew along and then broke up into many little bombs? I wondered at first if those were cluster bombs (which it would be madness to use in a densely populated area like Gaza). It turns out that at least some of them were white phosphorus.

White phosphorus, as you know Bob, is not a little illegal. First off, the Geneva Convention bans all attacks on civilians. Then, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons bans the use of incendiary weapons. White phosphorus is an incendiary weapon - basically burning phosphorus which cannot be put out by water. It just burns and burns and burns. If you get it on your skin, it will keep burning your skin until removed or until you completely choke it off from oxygen with a fire blanket (which is hard to do with someone who is on fire).

Now, in addition to all that, white phosphorus is also poisonous. Not just does it burn you, it causes heart, kidney and liver failure because your body absorbs the phosphorus. So it's more deadly than ordinary incendiary devices like napalm. That means that by any serious interpretation (i.e. of anyone except the US, Russia and Israel) of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it's a chemical weapon, which means it is specifically banned.

So yeah, here it is being used. Here it is being used on a school. Here it is being used on a school full of children and full of refugees. A school which the UN has converted into a makeshift refugee shelter. A school full of 1600 (civilian) children and refugees. A school which the Israeli Defence Force had the GPS coordinates to. The pictures, through some act of God, do not contain images of unspeakable horror. Nobody gets hurt on screen. But you get to see what white phosphorus looks like up close, as it rains down on a school full of children and other civilians. Somebody please tell me how this is not a war crime. Somebody tell me how Israel has a right to defend itself against all these children.

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