Reports: Israel occupation used flechette shells in Gaza

Dec 10,2019

Human Rights Watch said its use of the munitions in Gaza was indiscriminate and evidence of war crimes.

The Israeli occupation forces have used flechette shells, which spray out thousands of tiny and lethal metal darts, in its offensives in Gaza, causing scores of deaths.

Six flechette shells were fired towards the village of Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, on 17 July, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

Nahla Khalil Najjar, 37, suffered injuries to her chest, it said. PCHR provided a picture of flechettes taken by a fieldworker last week.

B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, described a flechette shell as "an anti-personnel weapon that is generally fired from a tank. The shell explodes in the air and releases thousands of metal darts 37.5mm in length, which disperse in a conical arch 300 metres long and about 90 metres wide.”

The IDF has deployed flechette shells in Gaza and Lebanon before. B'Tselem has documented the deaths of nine Palestinians in Gaza from flechettes in 2001 and 2002.

Flechettes have also killed and wounded dozens of civilians, including women and children, in Israeli attacks in Lebanon.

The Israeli military fired artillery shells containing white phosphorous in densely populated areas of Gaza during its offensive on Gaza in 2008 and 2009, causing scores of deaths and extensive burns.

It initially issued a categorical denial of reports of the use of white phosphorous, but later admitted it, saying the weapon was only used to create smokescreens.

Human Rights Watch said its use of the munitions in Gaza was indiscriminate and evidence of war crimes.

 

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