Category Archives: Phosphorous Bomb

Israel admits using white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza

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(Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

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The incident being investigated is believed to be the firing of white phosphorous shells at a UN school in Beit Lahiya on January 17


January 24, 2009


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After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel finally admitted yesterday that the weapon was deployed in its offensive.

The army’s use of white phosphorus – which makes a distinctive shellburst of dozens of smoke trails – was reported first by The Times on January 5, when it was strenuously denied by the army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence and international outcry, Israel has been forced to backtrack on that initial denial. “Yes, phosphorus was used but not in any illegal manner,” Yigal Palmor, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, told The Times. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) is holding an investigation concerning one specific incident.”

The incident in question is thought to be the firing of phosphorus shells at a UN school in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on January 17. The weapon is legal if used as a smokescreen in battle but it is banned from deployment in civilian areas. Pictures of the attack show Palestinian medics fleeing as blobs of burning phosphorus rain down on the compound.

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January 5 The Times reports that telltale smoke has appeared from areas of shelling. Israel denies using phosphorus

January 8 The Times reports photographic evidence showing stockpiles of white phosphorus (WP) shells. Israel Defence Forces spokesman says: “This is what we call a quiet shell – it has no explosives and no white phosphorus”

January 12 The Times reports that more than 50 phosphorus burns victims are taken into Nasser Hospital. An Israeli military spokesman “categorically” denies the use of white phosphorus

January 15 Remnants of white phosphorus shells are found in western Gaza. The IDF refuses to comment on specific weaponry but insists ammunition is “within the scope of international law”

January 16 The United Nations Relief and Works Agency headquarters are hit with phosphorus munitions. The Israeli military continues to deny its use

January 21 Avital Leibovich, Israel’s military spokeswoman, admits white phosphorus munitions were employed in a manner “according to international law”

January 23 Israel says it is launching an investigation into white phosphorus munitions, which hit a UN school on January 17. “Some practices could be illegal but we are going into that. The IDF is holding an investigation concerning one specific unit and one incident” Source: Times database

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Phosphorous Bomb Rain Over Northern Gaza

Phosphorous Bomb Rain Over Northern Gaza

Photo Fady Awan Gaza City January 8 2009
PalestineFreeVoice Images

Hiyam Noir

January 14 2009 at 4.32 am

GAZA – Blankets of white clouds covered the skies over Gaza, including the refuge camps in Khan Younis, Beit Lahia and Gaza City.On Saturday Israeli F16 warplanes launched attacks using phosphorus bombs on the Block 2 section inside the densely populated Jabalya Refuge Camp.Many residents of Jabalya escaped the area covering their faces, searching for a safe shelter in the home of relatives and friends in the neighboring Beit Lahia from the Israelis “Cast Lead Operation”. Gaza has always been the Israelis “testing ground” – from nerve agents used in Khan Younis in 2003, to Sonic Boom “phantom air raids”,and the use of DIME in the Israelis massacre called ” Operation Summer Rain” over Gaza year 2006.

In the dark night the terrifying sound of Drones [small, pilot less planes,] can be heard overflying the northern parts of Gaza Strip.Most deaths and injuries from Israelis air strikes, are caused by Drones. Drones are using precise remote-controlled devices to launch missiles against targets.A Drone can launch bombs, also take photos of the small number plates on cars thousands of meters below on the ground, also recognise and track location of the signals from mobile phones.

On Friday,PCHR,the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza accused in a statement, the Israelis of using phosphorous bombs over Gaza Strip.Raji Sourani, the chairman of PCHR, said that “This is not the first time we [PCHR] have documented the Israelis use of prohibited chemical weapons against the Gaza civilian population.The HRW Human Rights Watch senior analyst Marc Garlasco said in an interview on France Chanel 4 TV that ..”Israeli artillery bursted fire of white phosphorous shells over Gaza City.”Garlasco said ..”I have been standing at the border for the last few days ,watching Israeli artillery firing white phosphorus shells into refugee camps”.

On Sunday,the Israeli military denied the accusations saying that “We would not discuss what weapons we are using.”I can assure you we do not use any weapons that are prohibited by international law. We know that other nations are using phosphorous bombs,we have the right not to comment on this”, the Israeli military spokesperson added.

During the first invasion to Iraq, the US occupation forces used phosphorous bombs against the civilian population in Falluyah. Also the Israelis were accused of using phosphorous bombs against civilian targets in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel war on Lebanon.The Israeli at firsts denied the charges, however when the following investigation overwhelmingly proved and confirmed its findings,the Israelis could not deny the evidences.

The director of the emergency at the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza City,Habas Al-Wahis told journalists 3 years ago that in several cases, the legs and arms of the injured were sliced from their bodies, Al Wahis said – “as if a sharp saw was used to cut through the bone, however there was no evidence of ordinary metal shrapnel in or near the wounds. At the Al Shifa Hospital also in Gaza City, Dr. Juma Saka,said then, in 2006 that, – “our hospital found small entry wounds on the bodies of the dead and wounded, and a powder on the victims’ body, and in their internal organs.

According to Dr, Saka “The powder is like microscopic shrapnel, likely it caused the injuries”.Italian journalists from the Ray TV news network,the channel 24, brought samples of soil from Gaza, back to Parma in Italy.The samples was examined by Carmela Vaccaio, a doctor at the University of Parma, and it turned out that the samples had a high concentration of carbon,copper,aluminium and tungsten. “These findings could be in line with the hypothesis that the weapon in question, was a dense inert metal explosive or DIME” said Valesco.

DIME [ Dence Inert Metal Explosive]is a carbon encased missile that shatters into minuscule splinters on the impact.The missile sets off an explosive that burst out,blades of energy-charged,heavy metal tungsten alloy powder, (HMTA), such as cobalt and nickel or iron, with a carbon fibre casing.At the impact the material turns into dust, as it loses inertia very quickly due to air resistance, burning and destroying everything within a 4 metre range, as opposed to shrapnel which results from the fragmentation of a metal casing.

The metal is designated “inert”, because it is not involved in the actual blast, and not because it is chemically or biologically inert. In many cases, findings, have been made by doctors,that their patients during the first days of the impact, apparently in recovery, will die a sudden death after one or two days. “We do not know what it means, if this is new weapons or something added to a previous weapon ” said Saied Joudda, the deputy director at the Kamal Edwan hospital in Beit Lahia.These injuries were first seen in July 2006,after that the Israelis launched a massive military offensive against Gaza one month earlier, at the end of June, the Israelis had killed at least 286 Palestinians and injured over4,200, according to Gaza governmental emergency services estimations

Tungsten, the main material that would stray outside of the target zone, is also said to be highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment.According to New Scientist magazine, John Kalinich’s team at the Armed Forces Radio biology Research Institute in Maryland said, that in a study designed to simulate shrapnel injuries, pellets of weapons-grade tungsten alloy were implanted in 92 rats. Within five months all the animals developed a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.The carcinogenic effects of HMTA have been studied by the US Armed Forces since at least 2000 (along with depleted uranium). These alloys were found to cause neoplastic transformations of human osteoblast cells.

Dr. Mark Witten, a cancer researcher from the University of Arizona, said he was concerned about the possible links between tungsten and leukaemia. “My opinion is that there is a need for much more research on the health effects of tungsten ,before the military increases its usage,” he said.Later, in a statement issued,the Israelis denied the use of DIME weapons, adding that “Due to operational reasons, the IOF [Israeli Occupation Forces] cannot specify the types and use of weapons in its possession.”

Adding to their great suffering, Palestinian survivors of this new weaponry can in the future, expect to fall victim to cancer


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