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Old 01-17-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
kanuck57
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Default Is Israel Using Banned and Experimental Munitions in Gaza?

White Phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME): Is Israel Using Banned and Experimental Munitions in Gaza?
January 14, 2009
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/1...se_inert_metal

Click and Listen -MP3
http://media.libsyn.com/media/democr...009-0114-1.mp3


Guests:

Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch . He is on the northern border of Gaza.

Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who worked at Al Shifa hospital in Gaza during the Israeli assault.


Israel is coming under increasing criticism for its possible use of banned and experimental munitions. Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of illegally firing white phosphorous, which causes horrific burns if it comes in contact with the skin, over crowded refugee camps in Gaza. Medics and human rights groups are also reporting that they are seeing injuries distinctive of another controversial weapon, Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, that was designed by the US Air Force in 2006. Those struck by the weapon who survive suffer severe mutilations and internal injuries. We go to the Gaza border to speak with Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch and to Norway to speak with Dr. Mads Gilbert, who just returned from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. He says Gaza is “truly a scene from Dante’s Inferno.


AMY GOODMAN: As the assault on Gaza enters its nineteenth day, Israel is coming under increasing criticism for its possible use of banned and experimental munitions. Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of illegally firing white phosphorous over crowded refugee camps in Gaza. White phosphorous shells cause horrific burns if they come in contact with the skin. Under international law, phosphorus is allowed as a smokescreen to cover troop movements and protect soldiers or to be used for illumination, but it’s considered illegal if used against people.

In addition to white phosphorous, medics and human rights groups are reporting they are seeing injuries distinctive of another controversial weapon. The munition, called DIME, for dense inert metal explosive, was designed to create a powerful blast over a small area. It was developed by the US Air Force in 2006. Those struck by the weapon who survive suffer severe mutilations and internal injuries. The weapon causes the tissue to be torn from the flesh. Unlike traditional munitions, there is said to be no shrapnel. Instead, particles of metals can be found in the bodies of those affected. Those residues have been found on victims in Gaza.

Israel has denied it’s using either white phosphorous or DIME weapons.

Joining us now on the phone from Norway is one of the doctors who first accused Israel of using the DIME explosives: Dr. Mads Gilbert, an expert in emergency medicine. He and his colleague Erik Fosse have just returned from the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where they were volunteering through the aid organization NORWAC. Shifa Hospital is the largest hospital in Gaza.

We’re also joined by Marc Garlasco on the northern border of Gaza. He is a senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch, investigating Israel’s use of white phosphorus.

Marc Garlasco, on the border in Gaza, I want to start with you. You worked for the Pentagon. You know your weapons well. What are you seeing?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, when you stand on the border of Gaza, you watch every day as white phosphorus rounds are lobbed over with 155-millimeter artillery. We watch as Cobra and Apache gunships fly in and do strafing runs, run after run after run. You can see Heron drones overhead dropping bombs, additionally F-16s, and F-16s come in occasionally to drop aerial ordnance. It’s much quieter now than it was days ago. But still, it’s a continuous barrage, particularly lately on the refugee camps and in closer to Gaza City, which is where we’re looking at.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, you’re making a very serious accusation: the use of white phosphorus as a weapon, as opposed to illumination or a smokescreen. What evidence do you have of this?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, we have not stated that Israel is using it as a weapon. We’ve clearly stated that we’re standing on the border, observing day after day the Israeli Defense Forces firing white phosphorus into the refugee camps and Gaza City. Now, we are not there on the ground to observe any further how it’s being used. I’m about like, say, a mile away. And so, from that distance, you can see very precisely that it’s going in. Whether it’s being used as—you know, right now, we can tell it’s being used as an obscurant, but we have no further information to state whether or not they’re using it as a weapon, and we have not stated that.

AMY GOODMAN: In terms of what happens when it comes in contact with the skin?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, clearly, I would say we need to talk to Dr. Gilbert about the specifics, but from our understanding, you’re looking at third-degree burns that continue to burn until the fuel is exhausted. Fuel from white phosphorus burns for approximately five to ten minutes, as it’s creating the smoke, and if it goes onto the skin, it has to be removed. Otherwise, it will continue to burn.

And that’s clearly one of our gravest concerns. Our concern is that Israel is not taking all feasible precautions to spare the civilians from harm and that we’re going to see civilian casualties from white phosphorus use. You know, it cannot determine who is a target, who is a military target, and who’s a civilian, because it covers an area up to 250 meters in diameter, quite large. And these are densely populated refugee camps we’re talking about.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me go to Dr. Mads Gilbert, who has just returned from Gaza, the Shifa Hospital. He’s back in Norway right now. What did you see, in terms of the casualties, both when it comes to white phosphorus and also with this new weapon that you have been talking about called DIME?

DR. MADS GILBERT: I will answer that, but I think it’s important to understand that the most devastating weapon they are currently using is actually the siege of Gaza, which has been on for eighteen months, which means a lot of starvation, lack of food, water, power supplies, medicines, napkins, anything that people need to live. So it’s one-and-a-half million people who basically is now without their absolutely necessary means for living their lives, and that is, of course, illegal.

When it comes to the weaponry, we did not see clear evidence in patients that we received that they had been hit by white phosphorous, but we were told by the doctors and colleagues in Shifa that during the first days of the invasion, the ground invasion, they had seen this affecting as a side effect of the smokescreen use of the white phosphorus. And that was inhalation injuries, meaning that people have been breathing the phosphorus damp into their lungs, and burns. Also, by the end of our mission, when we left, there were fierce attacks in the south, and again the doctors in the European Hospital in South Gaza reported the same thing: burns and inhalation injuries. So it seems like my expert on the [inaudible] is right, that using such chemical means in so densely populated areas, as Gaza is, you will evidently have to affect also the civilians.

When it comes to the DIME weapons, we have seen a substantial number of amputations, where the amputees do not have shrapnel injuries. On the contrary, they have torn apart their legs, often one or two or even three limbs, their arm also. Some of them are beyond salvage, because the amputations are so high and so fierce that it also affects the lower part of the body. Some are survivable. But typical for these amputations is that there is no sign of metal fragments or shrapnel. It is only this very brutal amputations caused by some extreme power and small rice grain, rice, corn, pieces of some kind of substance, not metal, but—you know, the DIME weapon is a mixture of metals, nickel and cobalt, in a composite cast, not in a metal cast. And that’s explaining why you don’t see shrapnel.

The additional effect in animal studies on the DIME weapon is that the residuals in the muscle in mice will cause a very severe form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, which easily spreads to the lungs. This remains to be shown.

I underline we don’t have proof, but we have strong evidence that these amputations we’ve been seeing in Gaza for the last eleven days must come from some type of weapon that we don’t know of.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain more fully these kinds of amputations, Dr. Gilbert?

DR. MADS GILBERT: You know, often, if you have a grenade amputation or an amputation from any kind of metal fragment, it will be more like you had a hatch or an ax or a huge knife that cut through your bone and the muscle. What we see in these suspected DIME amputations is that the whole limb is crushed in a way that must suggest some sort of immense power that has hit the lower part of the body. And we know that these small bombs, which the DIME bombs are, explodes in a way so that it will mainly affect the lower limbs. The limbs are—you will have multiple very severe fractures. The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose. And you also have quite severe burns where this energy wave has hit.

If you look at pictures from sites where these patients have come, you don’t see fragments in the walls in the house around, maybe fifteen, twenty meters apart from the explosions. And you see only some stripes of power in the sand on the ground, and these actually are the examples that the power dissipates very quickly, maybe within five or ten meters of the explosion, so that you will not have this kind of collateral damage, as it’s called. But in Gaza, again, so densely populated, that these DIME weapons will have a devastating effect. Also, they are, by some, classified as nuclear weapons.

AMY GOODMAN: Nuclear weapons?

DR. MADS GILBERT: Well, the EU Commission on nuclear matters have stated clearly that these weapons, since they are based on a fission process, you need to investigate more the residuals, if that is radioactive. That has not been done. It was not done in Lebanon in 2006, when these weapons were first described. And it has not been done in Gaza in 2006 and now this—I saw the similar injuries in Gaza around Easter 2006—excuse me, 2008, that is, during the incursions in Jabalya, exactly the same types. And I believe there are some sixty-six cases described at Shifa Hospital before this war.

AMY GOODMAN: Marc Garlasco, you worked for the Pentagon. These DIME weapons, dense inert metal explosive, were developed by the US Air Force. Do you know about them?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, only what we’ve read about. I mean, I left the Pentagon long before these were developed. These weapons were developed in 2006, so they’re extraordinarily new. I’ve been on a number of battlefields, and one of the problems is that from what we’ve read in literature, when the DIME explodes, you’re looking at no residual pieces. And so, it becomes very problematic to go in on an investigation looking for forensic evidence, when it, in effect, eats itself up in the explosion.

And you have to remember, these weapons, interestingly, were developed to save civilians, to minimize civilian casualties, so that if the weapon explodes and kills anyone within the blast radius of, let’s say, ten meters to twenty meters, it immediately drops off in power, and so no one dies outside that area, whereas the standard bomb today, when it explodes, you have many hundreds of meters of blast and fragmentation damage. So if it is, in fact, being used, which we have no proof that it is, and civilians are dying, it’s most interesting, sadly, that it was originally developed to, in fact, spare civilians from harm.

AMY GOODMAN: Marc Garlasco of Human Rights Watch, if DIME isn’t yet licensed, technically still under development, would the US have to give permission to Israel to use it?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, the US has very strict requirements, as far as when a weapon finally gets through its process of acceptance, where it gets both a legal and a medical review, as well as effectiveness review. It remains to be seen how Israel has acquired the technology, whether they purchased weapons from the United States under some agreement, or if they’ve in fact licensed or developed their own type of munition.

To be honest with you, we have to remember one thing. At this point, there are a lot of rumors, and nothing has yet been substantiated. Only until we’re able to get on the ground and do the work that Israel is stopping us from doing will we really know what’s going on in Gaza.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain that further. We’re talking to you on the border. Why aren’t you in Gaza right now, Mark Garlasco?

MARC GARLASCO: Well, Israel refuses to allow the international media and human rights monitors entry into Gaza................................continued
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/1...se_inert_metal
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #3
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Without commenting on what Israel may or may not actually be using, what the article refers to as "banned" munitions are more accurately banned from the civilized battlefield by the signatories of the Geneva and Hague Conventions. Said agreements apply only where both belligerents are uniformed forces representing a country or government. Said agreements state that when one side plays without the rules as a matter of policy, than none of the other sides have to follow the rules.

Short version of that is that Israel can fight as dirty as it wants, according to the Law of Warfare.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
At this point, there are a lot of rumors, and nothing has yet been substantiated.
That is the gist of the conversation



and if they are being used
Quote:
And you have to remember, these weapons, interestingly, were developed to save civilians, to minimize civilian casualties, so that if the weapon explodes and kills anyone within the blast radius of, let’s say, ten meters to twenty meters, it immediately drops off in power, and so no one dies outside that area,
----------------------------------------------------------------------

British and United States forces also used it - drawing heavy criticism - during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It is not illegal if used as a smokescreen.

"Israel uses munitions that are allowed under international law," spokesman Ishai David was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail - but declined to elaborate on the type of shells used during the Gaza operation.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%...06-112594.html

Quote:
Said agreements apply only where both belligerents are uniformed forces representing a country or government. Said agreements state that when one side plays without the rules as a matter of policy, than none of the other sides have to follow the rules.
which is something that article takes pains not to mention.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #5
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White phosphorous is not 'banned'. That is pure bullshit. It is used by every miltary in the world as a standard artillery munition. It is used as both a smoke screen and incendiary. If Israel were firing it into concentrated civilian populations, our TV screens would be filled with images of hundreds, if not thousands of burn victims. That is obviously not happening. Inhalation of WP smoke is a valid concern, but again if Israel was firing WP right into heavy civilian concentrations, the casualty rates would be astronomical.

Israel is mainly using Willy Peter in more open areas, for area denial to limit the movement of enemy troops. If you were a Hamas fighter fleeing from an advancing IDF unit, would you try to retreat across that open field that was getting hammered with WP rounds? And if the IDF is advancing across a large open area, hitting it with WP flushes out hidden RPG ambushes, and the instant smoke screen masks the appoaching force from long-range RPG, ATGM, heavy machinegun and sniper fire. This is why all the world's armies use it.

Also, Hamas apparently took a page from the Iraqi insurgents in the Battle of Fallujah, and took entire blocks, drove out the civilians, and turned the houses into a maze of concealed fortified bunkers and building-sized IED booby traps. IDF forces advance until they find such a trap. They withdraw, and then their artillery pounds the area with HE rounds. That destroys the bunkers, detonates some of the explosives, and cuts the wires to command detonate those explosives not directly destroyed. Then the IDF follows up with WP rounds to set the rubble and remaining buildings on fire, driving the Hamas fighters concealed in that mess out, forcing them to fight and die in the open. This is a tactic developed by our Army in Fallujah called 'shake and bake'. All of this is considered perfectly legal and legitimate under the laws of war.

As for DIME, claiming that is 'banned' is also a lie. There is no restriction on its use under international law. I sincerely hope that they are using it, as it makes it possible to kill the enemy with far less 'collateral damage'. DIME is merely a carbon fiber munition filled with plastic explosives, surrounded by a casing of compressed inert powdered metal, like aluminum, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, or alloys of these metals. The metal dust both limits the blast radius by absorbing much of the energy of the explosion, and forming a cloud of 'microshrapnel'. Being dust, it loses energy very quickly as it moves out from the origin point of the blast, becoming harmless after a relatively short distance. That is why it does not injure people over larger distances, as opposed to a standard HE round that throws out shards weighing up to several ounces that can kill people hundreds of meters away in open areas, and generates a serious blast wave that collapses buildings and causes crush injuries. DIME allows precision targeting of the enemy without killing nearby innocents. This is obviously highly desireable in an urban warfare scenario; at least, to a military that actually gives a damn about minimizing civilian casualties.

The criticism of DIME is that the 'microshrapnel' is very difficult to remove from wounds by surgeons. The metal particles may be carcinogenic, depending upon their composition. Apparently nickel and tungsten are the primary suspects in this, though there as of yet no hard proof. Aluminum is apparently not a big problem in this regard. But to say that DIME is 'inhumane', while bullets and standard frag rounds are 'humane' is assinine.

The goal of weapons is to inflict such massive damage on the human body that the person is rendered combat ineffective, or killed outright. Fuel-air explosives cause horrible lung, eye, brain and crush injuries. HE frag shreds people with large high-velocity razor-sharp steel shards, and causes severe blast injuries and burns. We know what rifle bullets do to people. And then there are the 'beehive' antipersonnel rounds used in tank guns, that fire out a cloud a stamped steel dart at velocities over 10,000 fps. Victims are frequently found still alive, pinned to walls, trees and whatnot by a number of darts. Claymore mines and hand grenades cause large numbers of tiny shrapnel wounds, and blast injuries. So these are 'morally acceptable' weapons, but DIME is 'evil'? That is nonsensical crap. War is horrible, and it is fought with horribly effective weapons. This seems kind of obvious, but the propaganda war is all about spinning things to make the other guy look bad, and the facts and common sense be damned. That is what is being done in the article above.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:42 AM   #6
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Sweety, ever used WP? I have.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:25 AM   #7
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Yeah, WP smoke sucks to breathe in. I got woken up that way a few times on my leadership course two summers back. Having a smoke grenade roll into your hootch and start hissing is a crappy wakeup call.

I've fired WP smoke out of mortars and I carry around a WP smoke grenade regularly any time I'm outside the wire. There's nothing inherently sinister about white phosphorous. It's a chemical compound with a lot of military uses. Like anything characterized that way it can be used for a variety of purposes, some more objectionable than others.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:52 AM   #8
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Frodo said ...
Quote:
Sweety, ever used WP? I have.
# I did not see barrages of WP shells , I saw what appeared to be
individual targeted shots.

# There was no way to tell whether they were fired at targets in
open ground or other isolated targets.

# The fact that you may have used WP is totally irrelevant .

# Use of the word "Sweety" is clearly provocative given past exchanges .

Last edited by Ross; 01-18-2009 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:23 AM   #9
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Ross, WP as artillery airbursts as evidenced by photos and videos is not a precision weapon.

To put it another way, there is no such thing as "individual targetted shots" with artillery unless you are using smart rounds or radar directed 155mm counter battery fire.

To put it still another way, WP is an area weapon, like a shotgun.

Please let me know if you wish more information.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:31 AM   #10
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And for the record, I don't think there is much wrong with WP, just using it in a suburban environment where there are lots of civilians is questionable. Same as cluster munitions.

Used to throw WP grenades for smoke, and would have definitely liked to have that option available for bunkers, but airburst in a suburban environment? Nope, I fail to see how it would save attackers lives or minimise civilian casualties either.

Ask Brihard.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:34 AM   #11
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WP as artillery airbursts as evidenced by photos and videos is not a precision weapon.
Self-evidently the damage radius mainly depends on burst altitude ,
I accept that the Israeli shells were relatively high for area coverage effect.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:46 AM   #12
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Looking at the photos of airburst WP artillery, nothing immediately jumps out as a tactical cause for such use of the munitions. A commander in an urban environment who wants a smoke screen will probably want it placed pretty precisely; hand smoke grenades, smoke pots, or vehicle deployed smoke grenades would suffice. Smoke deployed by artillery is typically a battlefield measure used to cover a much larger area on a much larger scale; generally to screen a retreat or to conceal an advance. That said, I'm used to working on a much smaller tactical level. Frodo can probably better illuminate you on the use of smoke to cover a larger formation in open ground.

The other thing too is that WP smoke rounds are specifically designed to disperse as optimally as possible and to burn as quickly and efficiently as possible; thus generating as much smoke as can b generated as fast as possible. From that height, much of it would have already burned off, and what fell to buildings would probably be unlikely to actually start any fires due to the small size and the dispersal of the remaining chunks.

Conversely, if Israel were using weapons specifically desgned as incendiaries, far more fires would be caused, and a great many ore burn cases would be flowing into medical centers.

There's something I'm missing here, either a misunderstanding about the nature of the munitions employed, or a misunderstanding of the intent of their deployment. Something just doesn't click. Unless they're indiscriminately trying to fill whole areas with smoke for five or ten minutes at a time to leverage some larger operational manoevre advantage. I've never done urban ops on that scale, so I don't know if or how that would work.
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Old 01-18-2009, 03:22 PM   #14
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One thing to remember is that Hamas has pulled a lot of civilians back out of entire areas and are using those bobytrapped areas to draw Israelis into more confined areas.
Which would explain the use of WP and Dime munitions as well as the heavier artillery bombardment that has recently been observed.

Quote:
either a misunderstanding about the nature of the munitions employed, or a misunderstanding of the intent of their deployment. Something just doesn't click.
My guess is a little of both along with a lot of an attempt at misinformation and misdirection by certain parties.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:21 AM   #15
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The WP airbursts are very likely area denial, or counterattacks on Hamas rocket launching teams. The picture above shows them pepering an area right between two large building complexes, which is just the kind of site Hamas has been using to launch from. Knowing that WP will be raining down on you moments after you launch is quite a deterret to Hamas rocket techs.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:21 PM   #16
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Default CBC Radio 1 - The Current - White Phosphorus

CBC Radio 1 - The Current:
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/index.html

The Current for January 19, 2009
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200901/20090119.html

Click And Listen - MP3:
http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/currentdon...0119_11024.mp3


Part 1: White Phosphorus

Even before a ceasefire took hold between Israel and Hamas this weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made an apologetic statement to the Palestinian civilians of Gaza. We aired a clip of that statement.

He went on to tell Palestinian civilians that their enemy is not Israel, but in fact, Hamas. This weekend, Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire, that was only joined by Hamas 12 hours later. And though Gaza is relatively quiet today, Palestinian civilians subjected to 22 days of fighting and bombardment are still reeling and the controversies raised in this conflict have not gone away.

Late last week, human rights groups raised concerns over the use of a specific munition called white phosphorus saying their information suggested the Israeli army was using the explosive over Gaza. White phosphorus is a chemical sometimes used in military operations to illuminate the night sky or to provide a smokescreen to cover troop movements.

According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons -- the group that monitors the Chemical Weapons Convention -- those uses are permissible. But white phosphorus also burns most everything it comes into contact with houses, fields, even human skin. And the convention prohibits its use in areas heavily populated.

Officials with the Israeli Defense Forces have said the Israeli military is not using white phosphorus. But Human Rights Watch staff based in Israel reported seeing multiple bursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza Strip. And Mousa Yousef -- a doctor at the Al Awada Hospital in the Jabaliya refugee camp -- said he was treating patients with burns that he just couldn't otherwise explain. We heard from him.

Marc Garlasco has been speaking against what he says is the use of white phosphorus by Israeli Defense Force in Gaza. Marc Garlasco was at the US Pentagon during the initial air war against Iraq in 2003. He is now senior military analyst for Human Rights Watch. He was in Jerusalem.

White Phosphorus Panel

This is not the first time the suspected use of white phosphorus has raised concerns in urban warfare. It's use was controversial during the Vietnam war, and it became an issue in Iraq in 2004. The Pentagon at first denied using it, and then later admitted that its troops did indeed use white phosphorus in the battle of Fallujah in 2004. White phosphorus remains a controversial military tool, even among soldiers and military analysts.

For his thoughts on its use, we were joined by Brian MacDonald. He's a Retired Colonel with the Canadian Forces and the Senior Defence Analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations. He was in Toronto. And Sunil Ram is an international defence and security analyst and a former soldier and officer with the Canadian Forces. He was also in our Toronto studio.

Last edited by kanuck57; 01-19-2009 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #17
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the CWC does not ban WP or even consider WP to be a chemical weapon



Quote:
White phosphorus weapons are controversial today because of their potential use against civilians. While the Chemical Weapons Convention does not designate WP as a chemical weapon, various groups consider it to be one. In recent years, the United States, Israel, and Russia have used white phosphorus in combat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_phosphorus_(weapon)
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #18
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Default Outcry over weapons used in Gaza

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/mi...132228885.html


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Outcry over weapons used in Gaza

One doctor described the injuries as 'new' and 'much more dramatic' than landmine wounds [AFP]

Medics working in the Gaza Strip have condemned Israel's use of suspected "new weapons" that inflict horrific injuries they say most surgeons will not have seen before.

Dr Jan Brommundt, a German doctor working for Medecins du Monde in the south Gazan city of Khan Younis, described the injuries he had seen as "absolutely gruesome".

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Brommundt said surgeons had reported many cases where casualties had lost both legs rather than one, prompting suspicions that the Israelis were using some form of Dense Inert Metal Explosives (Dime).

When detonated, a Dime device expels a blade of charged tungsten dust that burns and destroys everything within a four-metre radius.

Brommundt also described widespread but previously unseen abdominal injuries that appear minor at first but degenerate within hours causing multi-organ failure.

"It seems to be some sort of explosive... that disperses tiny particles... that penetrate all organs"

Dr Jan Brommundt
"Initially everything seems in order... but they will present within one to five hours with an acute abdomen which looks like appendicitus but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all of their organs," he said.

"It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles at around 1x1 or 2x1 millimetres that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically."

The doctors said many patients succomb to septicaemia and die within 24 hours.

Dr Erik Fosse, a Norwegian surgeon who worked at the Al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza during the Israeli offensive in Gaza, also told Al Jazeera there was a significant increase in double amputations.

"We suspect they [Israel] used Dime weapons because we saw cases of huge amputations or flesh torn off the lower parts of the body," he said.

"The pressure wave [from a Dime device] moves from the ground upwards and that's why the majority of patients have huge injuries to the lower part of the body and abdomen."

Cancer fears

Fosse described the injuries as "extreme" and "much more dramatic" than those inflicted by landmines as "legs are blown off to the groin, it's like they have been cut to pieces".

He described them as "new injuries" that most doctors will not have come across, although he noted similar wounds were reported in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Noting that Dime explosives are precision weapons that are supposed to minimise civilian casualties, Fosse said: "The problem is that most of the patients I saw were children. If they [the Israelis] are trying to be accurate, it seems obvious these weapons were aimed at children."

Fosse called on the UN to establish a body in Gaza to monitor survivors to see if they developed cancer, following claims Dime devices contain radioactive material.

Medics and observers have also accused the Israelis of using white phosphorus - banned from use near civilians under international law - in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) said on Monday that delegates it sent to Gaza had found "indisputable evidence of widespread use of white phosphorus in densely populated residential areas in Gaza City and in the north".

"We saw streets and alleyways littered with evidence of the use of white phoshorus, including still burning wedges and the remnants of the shells and canisters fired by the Israeli army," Christopher Cobb-Smith, a weapons expert touring Gaza as part of AI's four-person delegation, said.

White phosphorus is a toxic chemical that causes severe burns and sparks fires that are difficult to extinguish.

It is dispersed in artillery shells, bombs and rockets and burns on contact with oxygen and is used to create a smokescreen to hide the movement of troops.

War crimes?

Israel fiercely denies using weapons in such a way as to contravene international law.

Major Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military, reiterated Israel was using "munitions that other militaries in the world are using" and that weapons were deployed "according to international law" .

Pressed on the number of civilian and child casualties in Gaza, she accused Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls the territory, of hiding fighters within civilian areas and using ordinary Gazans as "human shields".

"Israelis in responsible positions, as well as Palestinians ... are going to be looking over their shoulders in the days and weeks to come"

Leibovich also said the international community needed to ask itself whether Hamas and other Palestinian factions had committed war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli citizens for eight years.

More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed in the 22-day offensive, many of them woman and children, and 5,340 injured. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers and three civilians, have been killed in the same period.

The number of civilian deaths has provoked an international outcry, with senior UN officials demanding an independent investigation into whether Israel has committed war crimes.

The likelihood of either side being subject to a war-crimes action seems remote as the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to investigate because the Gaza Strip is not a state.

In addition, Israel has not signed the Rome Statute that enshrined the ICC so any investigation would require a UN Security mandate - likely to be vetoed by Israel's ally, the US.

However, Mark Taylor, an international law expert, told Al Jazeera that individual commanders and politicians on both sides could be subject to legal actions lodged abroad.

"I think that Israelis in responsible positions, as well as Palestinians in responsible positions, are going to be looking over their shoulders in the days and weeks to come," he said.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #19
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When your opponent fights dirty, and does not adhere to the "rules of war," then you are not required to adhere to the rules either.

Like Crocodile Dundee asking his street thug opponent, "You call that a knife?"

(Unsheathing his own..,)

"Now THAT'S a knife!"

Hamas thugs, firing unguided pipe bombs indiscriminately into civilian populations deserve all the "Willy Pete" and "Inert Metal" the Israelis can throw at them..,
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #20
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When you mess with the bull, you're going to get the horn.

Quit shooting lame ass rockets into towns. Then they'll have no excuse to blow the hell out of everyone.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #21
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Arrow

We already have a discussion going on about DIME on another thread, which frodo was participating in. Scattering more articles about it around the board only confuses people and makes it more difficult to follow the debate.
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* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #22
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I have often noticed that when a discussion starts to go in a direction some don't like they try to start another conversation on the same subject. Kind of trying to keep the spin going is my guess.

So can a mod merge these threads?
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:16 PM   #23
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Default Q & A on Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza

Q & A on Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza
January 10, 2009
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/1...hosphorus-gaza

Since the beginning of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza on January 3, 2009, there have been numerous media reports about the possible use by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) of white phosphorus (WP), a chemical substance used in military ordnance that has several tactical uses. The IDF has told Human Rights Watch and reporters that it is not using WP in Gaza. On January 7, an IDF spokesman told CNN, “I can tell you with certainty that white phosphorus is absolutely not being used.”

Human Rights Watch believes the IDF is using WP in Gaza. On January 9, Human Rights Watch researchers on a ridge overlooking Gaza from the northwest observed multiple air-bursts of artillery-fired WP that appeared to be over the Gaza City/Jabaliya area. In addition, Human Rights Watch has analyzed photographs taken by the media on the Israel-Gaza border showing Israeli artillery units handling fused WP artillery shells, as well as video of air bursts over Gaza followed by tendrils of smoke and flame that are highly indicative of WP use.

Israel appears to be using WP as an “obscurant” (a chemical used to hide military operations), a permissible use in principle under international humanitarian law (the laws of war). However, WP also has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.

Human Rights Watch believes that the use of WP in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life. This concern is amplified given the technique evidenced in media photographs and viewed by Human Rights Watch researchers on January 9 of air-bursting WP projectiles, which spreads the burning wafers over a wider area, thereby increasing the likelihood of civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects.

What is White Phosphorous?

White phosphorous (WP) is a chemical substance dispersed in artillery shells, bombs, and rockets, used primarily to obscure military operations on the ground. It is not considered a chemical weapon and is not banned per se. WP ignites and burns on contact with oxygen and creates a smokescreen at night or during the day to mask the visual movement of troops. It also interferes with infra-red optics and weapon-tracking systems, thus protecting military forces from guided weapons such as anti-tank missiles. When WP comes into contact with people or objects, though, it creates an intense and persistent burn. It can also be used as a weapon against military targets (see below).

How is WP used?

WP can be air-burst or ground-burst. It emits a distinct “garlic” smell. When air-burst, it covers a larger area than ground-burst and is useful to mask large troop movements. However, this spreads the incendiary effect over a wider area and in densely populated areas, as in much of Gaza, increases the exposure of civilians. When the weapon is ground-burst, the endangered area is more concentrated and the smokescreen remains for longer. The cloud from WP is dependent on atmospheric conditions, so it is impossible to generalize how long it will remain in the air.

WP can also be used as a weapon. US forces used WP during the second battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004 to “smoke out” concealed combatants, who were then attacked.

Why is WP controversial?


WP burns anything it touches. When air-burst as an obscurant, it can fall over an area about the size of a football field, about the same area affected by a cluster bomb. Those below may receive horrific skin burns, and it can set structures, fields, and other objects on fire. Using WP against military targets in densely populated areas would also raise concerns where the weapon could not be directed at a specific military target and thus would be indiscriminate in its impact, in violation of the laws of war. Humanitarian law also places restrictions on the use of incendiary weapons like WP against military personnel when other weapons are available.

What is the status of WP under international law?

WP used as weapons are considered incendiaries. Incendiary weapons are not prohibited under the laws of war. However, the use of WP against military targets is regulated under Protocol III of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Although Israel is not party to this treaty, customary laws of war prohibit the anti-personnel use of incendiary weapons so long as weapons less likely to cause unnecessary suffering are available.

A 1998 Israeli military manual states: “Incendiary arms are not banned. Nevertheless, because of their wide range of cover, this protocol of the CCW is meant to protect civilians and forbids making a population center a target for an incendiary weapon attack. Furthermore, it is forbidden to attack a military objective situated within a population center employing incendiary weapons. The protocol does not ban the use of these arms during combat (for instance, in flushing out bunkers).”

Is Israel’s use of WP compliant with international law?

WP is not an illegal obscurant or weapon. However, Israel’s use of WP as an obscurant in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the obligation to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to the civilian population during military operations. Human Rights Watch urges Israel immediately to stop using WP in densely populated areas. Human Rights Watch will seek to investigate this matter further.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:39 PM   #24
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ok so what does the human rights watch say about the suicide bombings and the rocket attacks by hamas?
Reason I ask is because I have never heard any outcry from them on that matter.
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