Israel has used white phosphorus munitions in its military operations in both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) complained on Thursday, stressing that these weapons expose civilians indiscriminately to the risk of suffer serious and long-term injury.

Asked about the group’s accusation, an Israeli military spokesman told Reuters news agency that it was “not currently aware of the use of weapons containing white phosphorus in Gaza.” He did not comment on the information about the use of such munitions in Lebanon.

Israel has been shelling the Gaza Strip since Saturday in retaliation for an unprecedented Hamas attack on it that left 1,300 dead. Over 1,500 Palestinians have been killed. Chahal, the Israeli military, also engaged in firefights with fighters from the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement.

HRW said in a statement that it had verified videos recorded in Lebanon on October 10 and in Gaza City on October 11, which recorded “multiple aerial explosions of shells with white phosphorus ammunition”, respectively in two rural areas and at the port.

He provided links to two videos, posted on social networking sites, which he explained showed “155mm white phosphorus artillery shells being used” to create smoke screens, or to mark targets, or illuminate sites, or for other purposes. Both were taken near the Lebanon-Israel border, he noted.

He did not cite video of the use of such munitions in the Gaza Strip. However, Palestinian television networks have broadcast videos in recent days of plumes of white smoke over the airwaves, which they said were caused by white phosphorus munitions.

Reuters notes that it has not been able to independently verify what the NGO text says.

In 2013, the Israeli military announced that it had begun withdrawing white phosphorus munitions, which it used, among other things, to create smoke screens during its 2008 and 2009 operations in the Gaza Strip. At the time, human rights organizations had denounced that the use of these munitions constituted a war crime, as they are by definition incendiary and can incinerate positions or locations they hit.

As they have legitimate uses, white phosphorus munitions have not been banned as a chemical weapon by international treaties.

White phosphorus is designated as an incendiary weapon in the Third Protocol to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). The protocol prohibits the use of incendiary weapons against military targets if civilians are present in the locations where they are located.

However, since Israel has not signed it, it is not legally bound by it.