Israel used prototype weapon in Gaza

An Italian investigative report suggests that Israel used an experimental weapon in the Gaza Strip, causing serious physical wounds, such as amputated limbs and severe burns, Israel's Haaretz daily said.

Israel used prototype weapon in Gaza

The Italian report, to be broadcast on Rai24news on Wednesday, is based on the accounts of eyewitnesses and medics in Gaza, as well as tests conducted by an Italian laboratory.

It's worth mentioning that the reporters who worked on this investigation revealed last November that the United States used phosphorous bombs against Iraqi civilians during the deadly offensive in Falljah in 2004.

According to the Italian report, the experimental Israeli weapon is similar to another one developed by the U.S. army, known as DIME, which causes a powerful and lethal explosion, but only within a relatively small radius.

"This is a technology that allows the striking of very small targets," Israeli Air Force Maj.-Gen Yitzhak Ben-Israel, the former head of the Israeli army's weapons-development program, told the Italian reporters. 

The Italian investigation follows several reports by Gaza-based doctors of inexplicably serious injuries, including a large number of casualties who lost legs, had completely burned bodies or wounds unaccompanied by metal shrapnel. Some doctors also reported that they removed particles from injuries that couldn't be seen in an x-ray machine.

According to witnesses, most of the wounded were hit by munitions launched from Israeli drones, mostly in July, one month after the Israeli army launched a deadly offensive in Gaza. 

Dr. Habas al-Wahid, head of the emergency room at the Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah, told the Italian reporters that the legs of the wounded were sliced from their bodies "as if a saw was used to cut through the bone."

Although there were signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation, there was no indication that the dismemberment was caused by metal fragments, he noted. 

Dr. Juma Saka, from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, said that he and his colleagues found small entry wounds on the bodies of the injured and the dead.

He added that a powder was found on the victims' bodies and in their internal organs. "The powder was like microscopic shrapnel, and these are what likely caused the injuries," he said.

According to Haaretz, the non-governmental organization Physicians for Human Rights wrote a letter to Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz demanding explanations for the aforementioned injuries to the Palestinians.

Amos Gilad, a top adviser to Peretz, is expected to meet with the group to discuss the issue soon.  

  • "Focused lethality"

According to the Italian report, the Israeli weapon is still in the testing phase and hasn't been used on the battlefield.

The Italian reporters suggest that the Israeli army is trying to develop a weapon similar to the U.S.-manufactured DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive), a "focused lethality" weapon designed to destroy the target while causing minimum damage to the surrounding, according to the official website of a U.S. air force laboratory. 

The projectile contains a carbon-fiber casing filled with tungsten powder and explosives. When it explodes, tungsten particles; a metal capable of conducting very high temperatures, spread over a radius of four meters and cause death, the website states.

"The result is an incredibly destructive blast in a small area" and "the destructive power of the mixture causes far more damage than pure explosive," according to the U.S.-based website Defense-Tech, which also states that the "impact of the micro-shrapnel seems to cause a similar but more powerful effect than a shockwave."

The Italian investigative team sent samples of the particles found in the injuries of those wounded in Gaza to a laboratory at the University of Parma.

After analyzing the samples, Dr. Carmela Vaccaio said that she found "a very high concentration of carbon and the presence of unusual materials," such as copper, aluminum and tungsten.

These findings "could be in line with the hypothesis" that the weapon in question is DIME, Dr. Vaccaio concluded.

DIME isn't banned by international law, mainly because it hasn't been officially tested.

However, it's believed that it's highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment, the Italian reporters concluded.   

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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