The Observer issues correction over Israel chemical weapons slur

An Israeli white phosphorus attack during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 (Photo: HRW)

An Israeli white phosphorus attack during Operation Cast Lead in 2009 (Photo: HRW)

The Observer newspaper has issued a correction over a claim that Israel used chemical weapons against people in Gaza.

Columnist Nabila Ramadi wrote in the Comment section of the paper this month that "white phosphorus shells – a chemical weapon that causes severe burning right down to the bone – were used by Israeli forces against Palestinians in Gaza in 2008 in breach of all international conventions”.

A correction was published in Sunday's edition of the paper following a complaint from the Israeli embassy in London.

The correction read that "white phosphorus used by Israeli forces in Gaza in 2008, is not a chemical weapon as understood by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its use is in itself not ‘in breach of all international conventions’.”

Critics of Israel’s military actions have equated its use of white phosphorous to a suspected chemical attack against Syrian civilians.

Last updated: 5:34pm, September 9 2013