“Gaza, Gaza, Gaza, we understand it is too much to ask for you to recognize the State of Israel, or to cease acts of terrorism and violence. But when you fire rockets at Israel, can you please not use white phosphorous.”
The Jewish State of Israel.
Last week, Israel fielded a protest at the United Nations because Palestinians were firing mortar shells and rockets across the Gaza border, using white phosphorous; the chemical frequently used in weapons since World War II, which causes severe burns. Three were fired in September, and on November 19th (and last August) the Salah al-Din Brigade fired four mortar shells containing white phosphorus into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.
White phosphorous, a.k.a. WP, “Willie” or “Peter” is a material made from an allotrope of the chemical element phosphorus used in smoke, tracer, illumination and incendiary munitions. The use of phosphorous on civilians is banned under international law. Israel admits to using white phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead, two years ago, in Gaza, but in risking UN sanctions, have since stopped. At that time, NATO forces also used white phosphorous, but have also since reportedly stopped.
The United States has accused Taliban militants of using white phosphorus weapons illegally on at least 44 separate occasions and likewise, in May 2009, Colonel Gregory Julian, spokesman for General David McKiernan, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, confirmed that Western military forces in Afghanistan use white phosphorus in order to illuminate targets or as an incendiary for destroying bunkers and the equipment of enemies. In November 2009, Houthi fighters in Yemen claimed Saudi warplanes dropped phosphorus bombs on villages in north Yemen. The Saudi government denied this.
A coalition of militant Palestinian groups (including the al-Qaeda linked, Ansar al-Sunna) known as the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the latest attacks on Israel. They claim it was retaliation for Israel’s targeted killing of two leaders of the al-Qaida-linked Army of Islam in recent air strike on Gaza last Wednesday. Israel claimed the group was planning to kidnap nationals in Sinai Peninsula to use them as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Meanwhile some polling by the Jerusalem Post does show some improvement. 56% of Gazans and 53% of West Bank Palestinians are sick of Hamas. The Islamo-Fascists in green are getting the Palestinian cause nowhere! These numbers are down from the 35% and 44% who had favorable views of Hamas in July 2009. Fatah got high approval ratings, also in Gaza, which is a positive sign. While most Palestinians (like Israelis) favor a two-state solution, they see it as a step towards having a one-state solution someday, Insha’Allah.
Palestinians in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip hold animosity toward Iran.
Altogether, 54% of Palestinians think peace with Israel is a possibility and only 43% are despondent. The majority are ready for renewed Peace Talks with the Jews.