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World

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’armée israélienne se déchaîne sur Gaza

by Pierre Barbancey, Special correspondent, Gaza Strip

The Israeli Army Out of Control in Gaza

Translated Sunday 22 October 2006, by Patrick Bolland

Palestine. New Israeli incursions have killed 21 Palestinians within three days. An inquiry appears to confirm that Tsahal, the Israeli Army, is now using a particularly sinister experimental weapon.

Last Thursday, Labour-Party Minister of Defense, Amir Peretz, ordered the army to expand its operations to the Gaza Strip, officially to stop any rocket attacks on the settlements in the southern part of Israel. The military, which had set up a temporary detention centre on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip to interrogate Palestinians arrested during the previous incursions, immediately implemented this policy.
On Saturday afternoon, an army plane shot three missiles at a car transporting several men, killing at least one, according to a Palestinian source. Earlier the same day, six men, among them five militants of Hamas, were killed in a previous strike. Fifteen other people were also wounded, two of them severely. A dozen Israeli tanks entered the area, supported by combat helicopters.

Shooting broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, after an anti-tank missile attempted to stop the advance of an Israeli bulldozer which was setting out to destroy houses and fields of olive trees. Twenty-one Palestinians were killed within three days, among whom one woman and a 13 year-old child. This brings the total death toll to 5,434 since the beginning of the intifada at the end of September 2000, of whom the vast majority are Palestinians, according to an assessment by the French Press Agency (AFP).

Last Saturday afternoon, thousands were participating in the funeral of the victims at the Jabaliya refugee camp, which had become a constant target of Islreali attacks. In the mosque, the bodies, wrapped in green shrouds, symbol of Islam and of the Hamas flag, were laid on the ground, while the believers were kneeling to pray. After the mourning, the anger took to the streets of this camp, which is almost barren following the unremitting attacks by the Israeli army.

This new Israeli offensive is even more disturbing, that voices are now being heard within Tsahal for the Gaza Strip to be re-occupied. Which would cancel all the diplomatic efforts deployed to get the Israeli soldier captured on June 24 liberated, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
Even more serious, according to an enquiry led by an Israeli television team (RAI-24) and printed in the daily Israeli, Haaretz, Israel is using a particularly frightening experimental weapon in the Gaza Strip. According to doctors in Gaza, the wounds from this new weapon can provoke the amputation of arms and legs and burn bodies without it being possible to detect pieces of metal. Some surgeons contend that they extracted particles that were not visible on X-ray machines.

Doctor Habas Al Wahid, responsible for the emergency services at Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah, explained that the legs of the wounded were separated from their bodies “as if a saw had been used to cut the bone”. There were signs of heat and burning near the points of amputation, but no indication that this dismemberment was caused by a metal object. Doctor Juma Saka, of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza-City, confirmed that a powder resembling “microscopic shards or shavings” was found on the bodies and in the organs of the victims. Elements that could refer to a similar weapon engineered in the United States and under a project titled “Dense Inert Metal Explosive” (DIME), whose purpose is to destroy a target while creating minimal damage around it.

If the use of such a weapon is in fact confirmed, it could very well correspond to the findings made by Lebanese doctors, during last summer’s Israeli invasion of Lebanon.


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