2 Feb 2010

Israeli officers reprimanded for using phosphorus shells

8:13 am on 2 February 2010

Israel has revealed it has reprimanded two top army officers for using white phosphorus shells during an attack on a United Nations compound in Gaza last year.

The BBC reports the compound was set ablaze by white phosphorus shells in the attack on 15 January 2009.

The admission is contained in an Israeli response to a UN report, which concluded that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during the 22 day conflict.

Both officers have retained their ranks, according to reports. They will not face criminal prosecution.

Until now, the Israeli army has denied breaking the rules of engagement over the use of white phosphorus.

A doctor at Gaza city's main hospital told the BBC he treated hundreds of Palestinians for phosphorus burns during the offensive.

Israel has paid the United Nations $US10.5 million in damages to repair its compounds.