No Virginia, That’s Not Snow over Gaza and Lebanon for the Holiday; it’s White Phosphorus Sent by Uncle Sam
Netanyahu’s, Biden’s and Blinken’s Chanukah Bombing of Gaza:
Evidence is mounting that Israel is firing shells that disperse illegal white phosphorus on targets — a gruesome weapon supplied to Israel by and manufactured in the US, and which the US has, in contravention to a UN ban, itself used in Syria, Iraq and other conflicts.
White phosphorus or WP is widely opposed as a weapon of war because the phosphorus, put on small bits of felt released and scattered from the air from a burst cannon shell, grenade or bomb, ignites on contact with atmospheric oxygen and burns at a very high temperature. On contacting human flesh it burns straight down through skin and muscle to the bone, is terribly painful, and can cause painful death or lasting injuries.
Israel was caught having used the weapon in southern Lebanon on Oct. 16, as reported in the Washington Post, in an attack that burned several homes and at least nine civilians when Israel’s military responded to shelling by Hezbollah. The Israeli military initially denied using the weapon, but spent shell casings identifying them as white phosphorus shells and with markings showing they were made by US arms makers, discovered by a Post reporter on the ground there, were unmistakable. So was the obvious Israeli lie that the phosphorus weapon was only used to create a smoke screen to protect Israeli troops (who in truth were not in Lebanon!).
Israel has also been charged with using white phosphorus in its two-month massive attack on Gaza, in particular over crowded parts of Northern Gaza (see photo which shows the characteristic burning trails of phosphorus falling from an opened shell in mid-air, a familiar image from the US invasion of Iraq in 2003-4).
Meanwhile, the fact-check outfit Snopes has issued a damning report by investigative reporter Alex Kasprak that concludes that while the evidence may not provide absolute confirmation regarding white phosphorus shell use in Gaza, the available photos and videos “are strong evidence in support of that conclusion.”
Images of white phosphorus shells releasing their deadly cargo on Gaza (courtesy of from Snopes 10/13/2023 report)
The use of white phosphorus as a weapon in the Gaza War is particularly horrific because most Palestinians there have no shelter. The concrete buildings they had lived in might have helped protect them, but have largely been destroyed thanks to Israel’s carpet-bombing and shelling of their homes and apartment buildings. Now much of the Gaza population lives on the streets, sleeping on sidewalks or empty lots, and is completely exposed to contact with any falling white phosphorus —- this at a time when hospitals are no longer functioning anywhere in Gaza.
When accused of using white phosphorus in Iraq, particularly on occasions like the total destruction of Fallujah in a 2004 revenge attack that Israel might well be using as a model for its much larger current attack on Gaza, the Pentagon and Bush administration lied by claiming the phosphorus weapon was only being used to “light up the area,” not to kill troops or civilians. But that lie was exposed by the weapon’s results: the many civilians horribly burned or killed by white phosphorus — and also by the photos taken in daytime showing the distinctive white smoke trails coming down from the air against a bright blue sky when no artificial light was required.
It all amounts to one more charge of war crimes against Israel (and the US) in addition to the major war crime of launching a war of collective punishment and revenge upon the 2.3 million captive and suffering residents of Gaza by the Israeli government and military that is charged with assuring their well-being in a captive territory from which they cannot leave at will and which is dependent upon Israel for currently barred food, water, electricity and access to medical supplies.
Already, the IDF war on Gaza—when one factors in all the missing and now dead victims buried under buildings collapsed over the past nine weeks by Israel’s record bombing campaign— has claimed the lives off over one-percent of the Palestinian population trapped in the fenced-in and walled-off territory. And the IDF’s brutal one-sided campaign, now in its eighth week, continues full force, with the US, the supplier of the ammunition, including white phosphorus 155-millimeter cannon rounds, refusing to pull the plug and demand a cease fire.
Obviously most of the known 18,000 Palestinian deaths and the thousands of unknown deaths from building collapses have been killed by “ordinary” bombs and explosive howitzer and tank shells or gunfire, But while white phosphorus attacks may not be adding that many victims to that list, relatively speaking, it speaks to the viciousness of the Israeli military that has chosen to use this weapon, as well as of the US military for keeping such bombs and shells in its inventory and supplying them to such a racist, apartheid state. (As for the US, where’s the surprise in learning that the nation that invented “stickier’ napalm, not to mention atomic bombs, doesn’t just use white phosphorus weapons, but like a oxycontin dealer trying to support his own habit is pushing them on other countries.)
Nixon and Kissinger had their wretched, criminal Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam by B-52 bombers over three decades ago in 1972. Netanyahu, Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are now having their own Chanukah Bombing, which, if the US-backed Iraeli blitz continues for another two weeks will be a Christmas Bombing 2.0.
DAVE LINDORFF is a founding writer for ThisCantBeHappening!, which is moving from an independent website to Substack, where, after a few weeks of free access will be shifting to a subscriber pay site at this address. Please consider subscribing early or if you can afford it our bargain offer of Founder lifetime subscriptions fo $150.