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Did Israel drop white phosphorus bombs on Gaza after Hamas attack?

As the Israeli strike on Hamas targets in Gaza continued in retaliation to Hamas’ surprise attack, a video showing the alleged use of white phosphorus bombs on densely populated areas in Gaza have emerged. The use of white phosphorus bombs on civilians is considered a war crime and was last used by Russia in Bakhmut of Ukraine.

The video which is going viral on social media shows multiple fires raining down. It is not known if the video was indeed shot in Gaza and if it was a recent video. It has, however, been claimed that it is Israel that has used white phosphorus bombs on Gaza for maximum casualties and devastation.


White phosphorus — a mixture of white phosphorus and rubber — is a wax-like material. It burns at a temperature of 800°C and spontaneously ignites, at up to 1,300 degrees Celsius, when it is exposed to oxygen and produces white, dense smoke, like shown in the video. Since it is a wax-like substance, it is very hard to remove and often lights up again when the bandages are removed.

According to a medical journal, quoted by Human Rights Watch, “white phosphorus can cause serious injury and death when it comes into contact with the skin, is inhaled or is swallowed.”

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“When white phosphorus comes into contact with skin it creates intense and persistent burns, sometimes to the bone. Infection is common and the body’s absorption of the chemical can cause serious damage to internal organs, as well as death,” it said.


In a major escalation on October 7, Hamas launched a “surprise attack” on Israel, firing a barrage of rockets into the southern and central parts of the country and infiltrating its militants into the Israeli territory that killed hundreds of civilians. Videos of Hamas militants indiscriminately firing at civilians have surfaced. Some Hamas militants also landed in Israel on parachutes where a music festival was going on. Some foreigners have also died in the surprise attack.

In retaliation, Israel has declared war and struck Gaza with missiles. According to Israeli local media cited by The Times of Israel, the death toll in Israel has jumped to 800 Israelis since Saturday’s attack. According to Israeli government, over 2400 people have been injured as well.

sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a strongly worded statement, affirmed that the Israeli retaliation has just begun, and Hamas will go through much “tough and terrible” things.

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Updated: 10 Oct 2023, 08:00 AM IST

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