UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington under nine presidents and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 15, 2009

ISRAEL ATTACKS UNITED NATIONS IN GAZA

Wired - The latest news from Gaza: United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed "outrage" after Israeli shells struck a U.N. compound there. Photos from the scene show workers trying to extinguish fires in the U.N. compound, where 700 Palestinians reportedly had taken refuge. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak apologized to Ban over the incident; but the Associated Press also quoted an anonymous Israeli military official who said Israeli troops had come under fire from Hamas militants inside the compound.

The London Times quotes United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness, who claims the fires were started by white phosphorus shells. The Israeli military has drawn fire from human rights observers for allegedly using white phosphorus rounds (likely the U.S-designed M825A1 White Phosphorus 155-mm artillery round) in an improper manner. Israel has stressed that it "uses weapons in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used in accordance with the type of combat and its characteristics."

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