Thursday, January 22, 2009

Willly Pete in Gaza

"In 15 years of practice, Dr. Abuhassan says he never saw burns like those he saw here. The burns, blackish in color, reached deep into the muscles and bones. Even after treatment was begun, the blackish color returned.

"Two of the patients were sent to Egypt because they were in such critical condition. They died in Egypt. But when autopsies were done, reports showed that the cause of death was poisoning from elements of white phosphorous that had entered their systems, causing cardiac arrests.

"In Gaza City, The Burn Unit’s harried director, a plastic surgeon and an expert in treating burns, told us that after encountering cases they’d never seen before, doctors at the center performed a biopsy on a patient they believed may have suffered chemical burns and sent the sample to a lab in Egypt. The results showed elements of white phosphorous in the tissue." [1]

"The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv reported that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) had privately admitted using phosphorus bombs, and that the Judge Advocate General's Office and Southern Command were investigating. Yesterday reports emerged from Gaza about the killing of five members of the Halima family, when a single white phosphorus shell dropped on their house in the town of Atatra on January 3. Two others were in a coma and three were seriously wounded.

"In the Jabaliya refugee camp, the Associated Press found a crater that was still producing acrid smoke days after the war ended, and in the town of Beit Lahiya a lump of white phosphorus burst into flames after some boys dug it up from beneath some sand." [2]

They call it Willy Pete It's fired into the air to illuminate the enemy at night.

On Saturday morning, January 17 at 6:45 A.M., the Israelis fired on the UN School at Beit Lahiya where 1,891 refugees were gathered. White phosporous burned on the playground. This was the third U.N. school to be hit.[3]

Amnesty International is quoted on the video below as saying, "We see prima facia evidence that there have been war crimes and that is why we're calling for a thorough and independent investigation." Amnesty’s fact-finding team that arrived in Gaza last Saturday released its findings on Tuesday, reporting that the weapon, “with a highly incendiary effect,” was used in “densely populated residential areas of Gaza City.” [4]

[War Moments, artwork by Inas at]

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