Ministry of Health Report on toxic Israeli weapons confirmed by Gaza City medical sources

Palestine News Network

Israeli tanks shelling Gaza with prohibited weapons

(13 July 2006) - DIRECTOR of Public Relations at Gaza City's Al Shifa Hospital, Dr. Juma Al Saqqa, confirmed the Palestinian Ministry of Health's report from earlier this week which stated that Israeli forces are using toxic weapons in the Gaza Strip.

The doctor spoke on July 13, giving the death count at 85 Palestinians in the Strip since the latest Israeli attack began. Among the dead are 34 children under the age of 13. And as of the afternoon of July 13, 300 Palestinians are injured. [Editor's Note: The Palestinian Human Rights Center reports that as of August 2 at least 175 Palestinians have been killed and 720 injured.]

Dr. Al Saqqa told Voice of Palestine Radio that the Israeli army is using new types of unconventional weapons against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the recent attacks. He said, "They are targeting the Palestinian body with unconventional weapons and with that comes a phenomena we have not seen before in any Israeli bombardment we have lived through for many years."

He continued, "The hospital is central and sees almost all cases of injuries and deaths as a result of Israeli bomb attacks against the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip. These Israeli bombings are entering the body and fragmenting, causing internal combustion leading to up to fourth degree internal burns, exposing the bone, and affecting the tissue and skin."

The doctor added, "These tissues die, they do not survive, which obliges us to perform arm or leg amputations, and there are fragments which penetrate the body and do not show up on X-rays. When entering the body they spark like a combustion firearm, but not chemically. They seem radioactive."

He confirmed that there were dozens of wounded legs and arms. Many of them had been burned from the inside, and distorted to the point that they cannot return to life again.

July 12 was one of the most bloody of all in the recent attacks. Israeli forces killed 25 Palestinians. Dr. Al Saqqa said, "It is escalating day after day. Yesterday alone Israeli forces killed 25 and injured dozens. Among them so many were children."

Dr. Al Saqqa revealed that the Israelis completely destroyed the lab which would help in diagnosing such cases. "We no longer have the ability to make these examinations on phenomena that we see is not normal."

He called on the international community to examine the latest weapons however the doctor reported that "no one has lifted a finger." Dr. Al Saqqa complained that he did not see any foreign medical institution interested in the use of new weapons and their affects on the human body. He said, "What we found were journalists who came to take pictures, but as for the medical community, nothing."

* * *

Interview with Dr. Al-Saqqa


Q: It seems that you are receiving people with wounds that are very difficult to treat. Do you know what kind of arms are being used?

A: We don't know exactly what kind of weapon it was but we suggest it was a chemical weapon or a weapon with radiation [inaudible] they also had a very strong explosion. There was shrapnel trapped in the bodies.

Q: When did they use this weapon for the first time?

A: They started with Operation Summer Rains two weeks ago.

Q: Were these weapons being used from tanks or planes?

A: From the planes.

Q: And did many people die from these attacks?

A: Yes, many of them died and many are going to die because they are completely injured. Many of them have cuts that are haemorrhaging...

Q: How many died?

A: 50 killed, 200 injured.

Q: Israel did not allow me to enter Gaza.

A: They dont want you to see what is happening here. This is the worst situation we have had since '48. We have Arab people dying day after day...We are in lack of everything. Bad water supply, bad sewage management, lack of food lack of supplies, they....[Phone line cut off.]

Sign of the Times, July 11, 2006

Palestinians condemn use by Israel of "forbidden weapons" against civilians

(11 July 2006) - PALESTINIAN leaders have condemned the reported use by Israel of internationally prohibited weapons during the ongoing Israeli army blitz into the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian officials from both the Hamas-led governments and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) labeled the alleged use of these weapons as "criminal" and "evil."

"They (the Israelis) are not using these prohibited weapons against armies, but rather against women and children and innocent civilians," said Ahmed Yosuf, an advisor to Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniya.

Yosuf called on the international community to pressure the Israeli state to stop treating Palestinian lives as "expendable."

"The world is watching this monstrous state gang up on innocent civilians, killing children and bombing densely-populated neighborhoods. This is despicable."

"Unprecedented types of projectiles"

Earlier, Palestinian surgeons in hospitals throughout Gaza noted that the Israeli occupation army was using unprecedented types of projectiles in the ongoing rampage of murder and terror which began on 27 June.

According to a press release issued Tuesday, 11 July, by the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Information Center (PHIC), surgeons have noticed that the majority of wounded civilians admitted to hospitals were exposed to tremendous explosions that burned their limbs and other body organs, causing multiple wounds, lacerated abdomen and internal bleedings.

"When the projectile explodes it morphs into very tiny pieces like sand and enters wounded bodies from multiple inlets and goes out from larger exit causing tissue destruction," one surgeon was quoted as saying.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health appealed to the international community and human rights organizations to send a specialized medical committee to investigate the use by the Israeli army of these weapons.

During the course of the Aqsa Intifada, which started in September 2000, the Israeli occupation army used a variety of internationally prohibited weapons, including shells containing depleted uranium, dart shells, which contain thousands of nail-like darts that penetrate the body, as well as gas agents affecting the nervous system.

The Israeli occupation army has refused to comment on the type of weapons it uses against Palestinians in Gaza.

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