Sources Media Release
 
   
 

News Release

Medical emergency in
the Occupied Territories and in Lebanon:
Non-conventional weapons


August 11, 2006


As health professionals, we request that the Canadian Government investigate a number of allegations that suggest use of 'new weapons' in Gaza and Lebanon that are in violation of the Geneva Conventions and
Additional Protocols and the Convention on Biological and Chemical Weapons. Our request follows our previous communication to all members of Parliament, and not responded to by a single member of Parliament, concerning the humanitarian disaster in the Middle East. The statement included allegations by the UN and by six Israeli/Palestinian NGOs about Israel's violation of the Geneva Conventions. The statement is signed by one hundred prominent health professionals (Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza (July 31, 2006).

As Canada plays an active role in supporting Israel, it is incumbent on members of government to have access to accurate reporting. At the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, "I didn't know" was a frequent defense. This is unconscionable. We find that current allegations of use of illegal weapons analogous to laws here in Canada regarding child abuse: when there is even suspicion of such horrific, egregious crimes, it is incumbent to investigate and fully report the findings.

The following descriptions, and the photographs available on the internet, evoke very difficult reactions. For the people in the countries where 'new weapons' cause such unthinkable bodily injuries, the effect can be psychologically terrifying and paralyzing.

The Canadian Government and health professionals must not be paralyzed but must act immediately to establish the actual facts.

 

Medical Reports:

Lebanon

* Dr. Bachir Cham of Southern Medical Center near Saida, Lebanon, member of the French Association of Cardiovascular Surgeons, reported his observations to the Doctors Orer in Lebanon, to the commissioner of the EU for Foreign Affaires Javier Solana, and to UN Secretary Kofi Annan. "One might think they were burnt, but their colour is dark, they're inflated and they have a terrible smell and hair is not burnt nor do bodies bleed." He also stated that there were an unusual number of dead victims compared to the number of injured. Lebanese Health Minister Mohammed Khalife and Dr. Bachir Cham (From Reuters July 27): "Killed by Israeli air raids, the Lebanese dead are charred in a way local doctors, who have lived through years of civil war and Israeli occupation, say they have not seen before. Bachir Cham received eight bodies after an Israeli air raid on nearby Rmeili which he said exhibited such wounds. He has taken 24 samples from the bodies to test what killed them. He believes it is a chemical. Cham said the bodies of some victims were 'black as shoes, so they are definitely using chemical weapons. They are all black but their hair and skin is intact so they are not really burnt. It is something else. If you burnt someone with petrol their hair would burn and their skin would burn down to the bone. The Israelis are 100 per cent using chemical weapons.' Killed by Israeli air raids, the Lebanese dead are charred in a way local doctors, who have lived through years of civil war and Israeli occupation, say they have not seen before."

http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Israel-using-chemical-weapons-doctors/2006/07/27/1153816285823.html


.Gaza

* Dr. Jom 'a Al Sakka (Reuters, July 17, 2006), spokesperson for AlShifa Hospital in Gaza, stated that "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. 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 complained that he did not see any foreign medical institution interested in the use of the new weapons and their effects on the human body. He said "What we found were journalists who came to take pictures, but as for the medical community, nothing."

* Dr. Sakka and Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, said in a report published by Ma'an news agency, that "The Israeli forces are using internationally prohibited missiles that contain chemical materials and burning metals and in addition, have shrapnel in the shape of nails." He pointed out that the injuries received in the hospitals as a result of these missiles are very dangerous because the human tissues and muscles are torn and in addition, the injured suffer from severe bleeding, loss of limbs and broken bones. Several doctors working in different hospitals confirmed the use of non-conventional weapons: Dr. Saeed Jodah says "When the shrapnel hits the body, it burns and destroys internal organs, like the liver, kidneys, the spleen an other organs, and makes saving the wounded impossible. As a surgeon, I have seen thousands of wounds during the Intifada, but nothing was like this weapon."

* Dr. Saqqa stated that it is not possible to analyze possibility of chemicals being used as Israel bombed the only criminal laboratory in Gaza on the first day of the assault.

* Further, "Out of the 200 injuries, there are 50 children who are suffering badly because of their internal wounds caused by the new kind of ammunition." More than 25% of the injured are children, age under 16. Four teenagers playing football were among the dead.

* From Medical Emergency Relief International: report on August 8th that after one attack in Gaza City, 75% of the patients needed amputations.

* From the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto: reports of dead tissues and no apparent wounds; 'shrunken' corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounding with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed. Possibility that new weapons included 'direct energy' weapons an chemical and/or biological agents, "where there is no respect for anything: international rules, refugees, hospitals an the red cross, not to mention the people, their future, their children, the environment, which is poisoned through dissemination of depleted uranium and toxic substances after oil and chemical depots are bombed. Health institutions of Lebanon and Palestine ask constantly for help an external verification and monitoring. They have asked the UN to set up an international, independent verification and investigation committee with the possibility of entering the conflict zone, to collect material and Swiss testimonies.

* From Swiss newspaper Zeit-Fragen: message from doctor in Gaza (his name is known to our newspaper Zeit-Fragen and will be kept protected): "Injuries reach us with severe burn . .[it smells of phosphorous]…the burn damages all tissues down to the bones . . . the limb which is touched by the shrapnells is cut immediately or by our decision ; externally we found hundreds of shrapnells penetrating the body and does not appear by x-ray. It auses severe burn to internal organs and cooking of the liver. We amputated more than 70 limbs. We can't examine [tissues] as the Israelians destructed our only lab. . ." The doctor asks: "Does anybody of you know more about these injuries? Are special medications needed? Which diagnostic apparatus or lab equipments are needed? What kind of medical doctors with what kind of special knowledge should accompany the Red Cross or the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation with their supplies and aid? Is there anybody with you who is already prepare in this matter, so that we could coordinate with each other? What kind of further reading is recommended?

* Dr. Doug Rokke, former Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project, states that "The use of uranium weapons is absolutely unacceptable, and a crime against humanity. Consequently the citizens of the world and all governments must force cessation of uranium weapons use. I must demand that Israel now provide medical care to all DU casualties in Lebanon and clean up all DU contamination."

* In addition to the 'new weapons', there have been reports about cluster bombs (confirmed by Human Rights Watch), phosphorous, and poison gas. President Emile Lahoud accused Israel of using banned weapons and called on the UN to help "deter Israel from using destructive weapons which violate human rights and the UN Charter. "We are facing a real annihilation carried out by Israel."

* Photographs: http://www.vtjp.org/report/Israels_New_Weapons.htm
http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/cgi-bin/blogs/voices.php/2006/07/24/p9569#more9569 article by Benjamin Merhav


Ad hoc committee of health professionals/Humanitarian Disaster in the Middle East
Federico Allodi, M.D.
James Deutsch, M.D., Ph.D.
Judith Deutsch, M.S.W.
Miriam Garfinkle, M.D.
Paul Hamel, M.D.
Sameh Hassan, M.D.
Nancy Olivieri, M.D.

 


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