On Tuesday, Lebanon instructed its delegation to the United Nations to file a complaint against Israel, which it accuses of using white phosphorus in its attacks to ignite fires in the south of the country, according to Lebanese diplomacy.
There has been an exchange of fire on the Israeli-Lebanese border on a daily basis between the Israeli army and the powerful Hezbollah, since the beginning of the war between Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip on October 7.
The Israeli army responded to the targeting of its positions by bombing the outskirts of several border towns and sites of Hezbollah fighters, which led to the outbreak of fires that destroyed large areas of crops and olive trees.
The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “I instructed the Lebanese mission to the United Nations to submit a new complaint to the Security Council to condemn Israel’s use of white phosphorus during its repeated attacks on Lebanon and its deliberate burning of forests.” Tuesday, citing the head of Lebanese diplomacy, Abdullah Bou Habib.
The clashes resulted in the deaths of at least 62 people in Lebanon, according to an Agence France-Presse count, including four civilians.
Since the escalation began, Lebanese officials and NGOs, including Amnesty International on Tuesday, have accused Israel of using white phosphorus.
Agriculture Minister Abbas Haj Hassan told Agence France-Presse, “Thanks to the preliminary investigation conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture (…) we detected 128 fires resulting from the bombing of the Israeli enemy with white phosphorus.”
He added that the Israeli bombing “completely burned at least 40,000 olive trees, in addition to large forest areas,” denouncing the “total violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
Phosphorus bombs are incendiary weapons that are prohibited from being used against civilians, but not against military targets, under a convention signed in 1980 in Geneva.
According to the official Lebanese news agency Al-Ani, at least one fire has not been extinguished so far on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Amnesty International said it had “evidence of Israel’s illegal use of white phosphorus” between October 10 and 16 in southern Lebanon.
The official said in a press statement that one of the attacks “should be investigated as a war crime because it was an indiscriminate attack that led to the injury of at least nine civilians” in the village of Al-Dira.
In mid-October, Human Rights Watch also accused Israel of using white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon on October 11 and 12.
An Israeli army spokesman immediately responded: “We deny these allegations.”