White phosphorus shells, shown being prepared by the Israeli military at the Israel-Gaza border, are banned by international convention from being used against civilians.
Investigators with the U.N. Human Rights Council may be forced to enter the Palestinian territories from Egypt because Israel is likely to refuse cooperation in the U.N.’s mission to investigate potential war crimes by the Israeli military and Hamas. Israel says the tribunal is biased against it—even after its proven use of white phosphorus munitions and indiscriminate bombing of civilian sites, including a U.N. school.
A UN inquiry into possible war crimes in Gaza will go ahead even if Israel does not co-operate, says Richard Goldstone, who leads the inquiry team.
Mr Goldstone said he was “disappointed” Israel had given no positive response, and said his team would enter Gaza via Egypt if Israel refused them visas.
The UN wants to investigate whether Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during the January conflict in Gaza.
Israel accuses the UN branch carrying out the mission of bias against it.