The McClatchy piece implies the phosphorus shells are illegally being used against civilians. You can read the piece here. McClatchy posted a photo, obtained from The Times, as "photographic evidence" of the phosphorus shells. Nissenbaum writes,
"But then Sheera uncovered photographic evidence showing an Israeli soldier along the Gaza border who is looking at a U.S.-made white phosphorus shell.The photo is below.
"Despite the clear markings that The Times said ID the shell as containing white phosphorus, the Israeli military argued that Israel had changed the contents and that it was an "empty shell."
But the photo is not the evidence Nissenbaum claims. Over at Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens actually did some research; it turns out the claim is leftist propaganda. Owens confirms Israeli forces are using 155mm M825A1 white phosphorus shells in Gaza. (You can see them clearly marked in the photo.) But the white phosphorus shells they are using in Gaza are not incendiaries, and they are not being used in any way that can possibly be misconstrued as illegal.
Bob Owens links to Global Security piece that explains the phosphorus being used in Gaza is nothing but a smoke round.
The M825 is a 155mm Smoke projectile used to provide screening or marking smoke. It is a separate loading munition using a hollow forged steel shell. The shape is ogival with a boat tail for aerodynamic efficiency and a welded steel baseplate. Close to the base is a gilding metal drive band protected by a grommet until just before loading.So the shells are being used in this case to put smoke on the ground to conceal IDF troops, and at other times, to light up the sky to locate Hamas terrorists. This is a legal use. There is no targeting of civilians. More on the bogus white phosphorus libel here.
The M825 White Phosphorus (Felt-Wedge) is a 155mm base ejection projectile designed to produce a smoke screen on the ground for a duration of 5 to 15 minutes. It consists of two major components, the projectile carrier, and the payload. The projectile carrier delivers the payload to the target. The payload consists of 116 WP-saturated felt wedges. After ejection, the WP felt wedges fall to ground in a elliptical pattern. Each wedge will then becomes a source of smoke. The projectile is ballistically similar to the M483A1 DPICM family of projectiles.
Smoke ammunition is a limited asset. Since ammunition requirements vary with each mission, observers should know the amount and types of smoke ammunition available and how many minutes of coverage it can provide. Extensive, planned smoke employment should be coordinated early with firing units to allow for redistribution or requisition of ammunition.
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