Italian Probe: Israel Used New Weapon Prototype in Gaza Strip

By Rapoport, Meron | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2006 | Go to article overview

Italian Probe: Israel Used New Weapon Prototype in Gaza Strip


Rapoport, Meron, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


AN INVESTIGATIVE report aired on Italian television Oct. 11 raised the possibility that Israel has used an experimental weapon in the Gaza Strip in recent months, causing especially serious physical injuries, such as amputated limbs and severe burns.

The weapon is similar to one developed by the U.S. military, known as DIME, which causes a powerful and lethal blast, but only within a relatively small radius.

The Italian report is based on the eyewitness accounts of medical doctors in the Strip, as well as tests carried out in an Italian laboratory. The investigative team is the same one that exposed, several months ago, the use by U.S. forces in Iraq of phosphorous bombs, against Iraqi rebels in Faluja.

Israel Air Force Maj.-Gen (res.) Yitzhak Ben-Israel, formerly head of the IDF's weapons-development program, told the Italian reporters that "one of the ideas [behind the weapon] is to allow those targeted to be hit without causing damage to bystanders or other persons."

The investigation, by Rai24news, follows reports by Gaza-based doctors of inexplicably serious injuries. The doctors reported an exceptionally large number of wounded who lost legs, of completely burned bodies and injuries unaccompanied by metal shrapnel. Some of the doctors also claimed that they removed particles from wounds that could not be seen in an X-ray machine.

According to those who testified, the wounded were hit by munitions launched from drones, most of them in July.

Dr. Habas al-Wahid, head of the emergency room at the Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital, in Deir el-Balah, told the reporters that the legs of the injured were sliced from their bodies "as if a saw was used to cut through the bone." There were signs of heat and burns near the point of the amputation, but no signs that the dismemberment was caused by metal fragments.

Dr. Juma Saka, of Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, said the doctors found small entry wounds on the bodies of the wounded and the dead. According to Saka, 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," Saka said.

The Italian investigative team raised the possibility that the IDF is making use of a weapon similar in character to DIME-Dense Inert Metal Explosive-developed for the U. …

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