Boycott israHell!

Boycott israHell!
Бойкот на израел и печелещите от окупацията! Boycott israHell and those who profit from occupation!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Amnesty report into weapons use in Gaza

Call for weapons embargo on both sides

Amnesty's report on weapons used by both sides in Gaza finds much to condemn.

The group is particularly hard on the U.S., having found numerous remains of American munitions -- including white phosphorus shells from Pine Bluff Arsenal, and a Hellfire missile made in Orlando.

Another weapon which bothers Amnesty is a mysterious munition, filled with cubic particles.

This type of ultra-precise strike capability is supposed to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties.

So we turn once again to Garlasco's comment, from an earlier conflict:

"It is unfortunate that these weapons are being developed specifically for use in densely populated areas which may negate the intended effect."

The BBC has produced a case-study on the use of weapons by the IDF during the recent onslaught on the population of Gaza.

Human Rights Watch described how the IDF used flechette shells contain several thousand razor-sharp, nail-like metal darts, each about 4cm long. The shells explode in the air scattering the darts over the surrounding area - in a cone-shaped pattern 300m long and 90m wide.

"The black darts can still be seen in the walls above the spot where Wafa Abu Jarad, aged 21 and three months pregnant, was fatally injured on 5 January 2009, outside their home on a residential street near Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza ."

Wired presents an in-depth technical analysis of the probable weapon which produced horrific injuries when used by Israeli forces indiscriminately against the civilian population of Gaza.

A candidate is the Spike missile, made by the Israeli company Rafael originally designed as an anti-tank missile. A trailing fiber-optic cable relays video back to the operator meaning that he/she can see exactly the civilian/military nature of the target before the weapon detonates.

Marc Garlaso of Human Rights Watch previously noted the Spike's use in Gaza, describing it as "a special missile that is made to make very high-speed turns, so if you have a target that is moving and running away from you, you can chase him with the weapon."

The Spike has a shaped charge warhead, which produces a narrow jet of metal at very high velocity. This is excellent for slicing through armor, but does little damage to anything not immediately in front of the missile.

To turn an anti-tank missile into a general purpose one capable of damaging other targets (such as people or soft vehicles), the answer is invariably to add a "fragmentation sleeve."

The fragmentation is enhanced by embossing -- cutting grooves into the sleeve. But the best method is to pre-form the fragments, typically producing tiny cubes like those shown.

The end result is a missile which hits the ground almost vertically after the pop-up, leaving a narrow deep hole as described, and spraying the area with small cubic shrapnel.

Predictably pro-Zionist groups have attempted to discredit the report. For instance the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called the report "pernicious and biased" because it presents Israeli actions propaganda-free and calls for an arms embargo.

The report has been similarly denounced by Mark Regev on behalf of the Israeli government

"We tried to be as surgical as humanly possible in a difficult combat situation," he said.

Again Regev's comments should be viewed very critically for truthfulness in the light of the fact that the spike missile provides video feedback to the operator right up to the moment of impact.

Mr Regev criticised Amnesty's methodology, saying the report's authors used what he called "tainted" data provided by Hamas.
He said Israel was conducting its own investigation into whether any of its munitions were used outside international law.
Hamas also criticised the report's findings as "unjust and unfair".

"It [the report] equates between the criminal and the victim," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
"There is not a single country in the world which exports weapons to the Hamas movement. At the same time main countries, big countries and superpowers are exporting nuclear and phosphorus weapons, as well as weapons of mass destruction, to the Zionist occupier [Israel]."

The IDF has taken heed of the international criticism and has been gathering "evidence" in preparation for anticipated war-crimes tribunals. The group of legal experts reviewing the footage is called, most unfortunately, an "Incrimination Team."

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