Israeli Supreme Court allows use of flachette shells against Palestinians
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Sunday that international law does not bar the Israeli army from using flachette shells. According to the court, an international treaty restricting the use of conventional weapons, which Israel ratified in 1995, does not ban flachette use.
The court rejected the petitions filed by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights, which requested that the use of flachette shells in the Gaza Strip be banned.
The petitioners claimed that these shells are banned according to international law, because they cause "unnecessary suffering." The petition cited two incidents in which Palestinian civilians were killed as a result of flachette shell use. On one occasion a flachette shell landed near a Bedouin tent, kiling three woman in the Gaza Strip. On a separate occasion, three youths were killed when a flachette shell was fired by Israeli forces.
The Israeli army is using a modified version of the M494 105mm APERS-T round provided by the USA in the 1970s. According to a US Army manual, the round is "designed for close-in assault against massed infantry assaults and for offensive fire against exposed enemy personnel".
The use of flechette rounds in war is not proscribed by the Geneva Convention, The Jane's Defense Weekly has reported. (Albawaba.com)
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