Monday, January 19, 2009

Doctors see evidence of DIME weapon use, in addition to white phosphorus

Egyptian doctors returned from the Gaza Strip said at a conference held yesterday by the Arab Doctors Union in Cairo that the bodies of the dead and wounded they have seen indicate the use by Israel of a variety of weapons banned internationally, including white phosphorus and so-called DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosives), and they referred to other cases of distortions and disfigurations that they could not explain, calling the overall conditions of the bodies the ugliest they had seen in their medical careers. They called on the Union of Arab Journalists and international journalist associations to prepare a thorough report gathering together all evidence of the use of banned weapons.

(The report I have seen on this is in the Qatari paper AlArab, (today Monday Jan 19) which was praised by the doctors for a report it published the day before (which I haven't seen) including pictures, witness statements and documents, calling it an important collection of evidence).
Dr Ahmed Abdulaziz, a well-known Egyptian professor of surgery, said: We saw bodies that had been completely blackened. And we received body parts that we did not know who they belonged to; skulls that were empty; bodies whose limbs had been completely severed which is an indication of the use of DIME weapons. He called for a trial of the perpetrators of this in an international court. This was a slaughter by any measure, and the aim was not [just] to kill the people but to disfigure them.


Anonymous Kjetting said...

Similar reports have been issued by Norwegian doctors Gilbert and Fosse, who spent two weeks in Gaza during the most intensive bombing.

1:03 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Right. Fosse also talks about DIME:

Some Palestinian casualties in the Gaza Strip were wounded by a new type of weapon that even doctors with previous experience in war zones do not recognize, according to Dr. Erik Fosse, a Norwegian cardiologist who worked at Gaza's Shifa Hospital for 11 days, during Operation Cast Lead.

However, he added in a telephone conversation from Oslo, most casualties were people hit by shrapnel from conventional explosives.

Fosse, a department head at a university hospital in Oslo, worked in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation and several times in Lebanon, also in 2006. That was when he first heard about the new kind of weapon, but did not see any such wounds with his own eyes.

The unknown weapon appears to mainly affect the body's lower part, he said. It severs the legs, leaving burns around the stump, small punctures in the skin and internal bleeding.

And more generally, he and Gilbert have said in a report to the Norwegian government that Israel deliberately targeted civilians:

Fosse and a Norwegian colleague, Mads Gilbert, arrived in Gaza on December 31 and remained until January 10. They were financed by the Norwegian government.

On his return, Fosse submitted a report to his government in which he accused the IDF of deliberately targeting civilians. Fosse said he believes Israel deliberately chose to attack while Westerners working for international organizations were back home for the Christmas vacation.

"The Palestinian witnesses, as medical workers, are very accurate in their reports, but if we hadn't been there to confirm their testimony, it would all have been presented as Hamas propaganda," he said.

1:21 AM  
Blogger badger said...

BBC English reports this about white phosphorus: Amnesty said a fact-finding team found "indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus" in crowded residential areas of Gaza City and elsewhere in the territory.

"Yesterday, we saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phosphorus, including still-burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army," said Christopher Cobb-Smitt, a weapons expert with the Amnesty team in Gaza.


1:24 AM  
Blogger badger said...

And BBC Arabic (via AlMesryoun)quotes another AI research person to the effect that in the short time that they have been in Gaza it already seems to them that there is confirmed evidence of war-crimes, and they call for a thorough inquiry to that the perpetrators can be held to account.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous LB said...

About a year ago, Israel bombed Gaza's police forensic investigation building. to be followed by three rounds of bombing campaign.

The reason as given by Israel at time is that Hamas uses the labs to develop chemical weapons.

denying the Israeli claims Hamas said that the reason is that Israel wants to use a new kind of bombs and destroying the labs is just to prevent any scientific research on the materials used in these bombs.

For sure nobody toke Hamas serious.

What I want to say here is that it's not the first time Israel used DIME but this is the first time the world take it seriously.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Nygdan said...

Aren't DIME weapons legal?

11:15 AM  
Blogger badger said...

DIME is an "experimental" weapon, the only reported (not acknowledged) uses being by Israel against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in 2006, and again in the last few weeks.

11:54 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Btw, re LB's note about the bombing of the Gaza police forensic building about a year ago, any chance anyone can dig up a link for that? I vaguely remember a report about the incident

12:11 PM  
Anonymous LB said...

Jordanian doctors tell the stories of the injured

About the police building. it was on Aljazeera in September or August..I am not sure, I will try to find it in the coming days

1:34 PM  
Blogger badger said...

thanks. In the next post I'll outline what the Jordanian doctors said according to that Islammemo piece.

2:28 PM  

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