The New Weapons Committee recently released a report of detailed biopsy studies conducted on people in Gaza injured by Israeli weapons during the Israeli assaults of summer 2006 and winter 2009. (Hat-tip Ray J.)
The NWC’s May 11 press release warns that the biopsy results indicate Israel’s use of new and potentially very worrying kinds of weapons during those assaults:
- Toxic and carcinogenic metals, able to produce genetic mutations, have been found in the tissues of people wounded in Gaza during Israeli military operations of 2006 and 2009. The research has been carried out on wounds provoked by weapons that did not leave fragments in the bodies of the victims, a peculiarity that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors in Gaza. This shows that experimental weapons, whose effects are still to be assessed, were used.
The researchers compared the quantity of 32 elements present in the tissues through ICP/MS (a type of highly sensitive mass spectrometry) . The job, carried out by laboratories of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Chalmer University (Sweden) and Beirut University (Lebanon)[I think that’s a referece to the American University of Beirut ~HC], was coordinated by the New Weapons Research Group (Nwrg), an independent committee of scientists and experts based in Italy, who is studying the use of unconventional weapons and their mid-term effects on the population of after-war areas. The relevant presence of toxic and carcinogenic metals found in the wound tissues points to direct risks for survivors, but also to the possibility of environmental contamination.
Scroll further down that web-page for links to the the Word doc version of the study itself and PDF versions of the supporting materials.
Articles 22 and 23 of the 1899 Hague Conventions state the following:
- Article 22
The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.
Besides the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially prohibited:–
To employ poison or poisoned arms;
To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;
To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
To declare that no quarter will be given;
To employ arms, projectiles, or material of a nature to cause superfluous injury;
To make improper use of a flag of truce, the national flag, or military ensigns and the enemy’s uniform, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention;
To destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.