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Monday, January 19, 2009

Gaza Scorecard



From the
BBC


  • Palestinians Killed 1300 (5,500 injured)
  • Israelis Killed 13 (3 civilians)
  • Palestinian Homeless 50,800
  • Palestinians without running water 400,000
  • Buildings destroyed in Gaza 4,000
  • Buildings severely damaged 20,000

Al Jazeera reports there is an
outcry over the weapons used in Gaza.


Reports from those caring for the wounded describe the injuries as "absolutely gruesome."

Dr Jan Brommundt, a German doctor working for Medecins du Monde in the south Gazan city of Khan Younis, described the injuries he had seen as "absolutely gruesome".

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Brommundt said surgeons had reported many cases where casualties had lost both legs rather than one, prompting suspicions that the Israelis were using some form of Dense Inert Metal Explosives (Dime).

When detonated, a Dime device expels a blade of charged tungsten dust that burns and destroys everything within a four-metre radius.

What are DIME?

The research into DIME technology is conducted by the US Air Force Resarch Lab partnered with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This technology was demonstrated in a low collateral damage warhead, allowing a "behind-the-wall" threat prosecution with a highly localized lethal footprint. The warhead case consists of a low-density, wrapped carbon-fiber/epoxy matrix integrated with a steel nose and base. The low-density composite case can survive penetration into a one-foot hardened concrete wall.

Upon detonation, the carbon-fiber warhead case disintegrates into small non-lethal fibers with little or no metallic fragments, thus significantly reducing collateral damage to people and structures. The warhead explosive fill is a dense inert metal explosive containing fine tungsten particles to provide a ballasted payload with sufficient penetration mass. The tungsten displaces energetic material so as to reduce the total energetic used. The net results are higher dynamic energy impulse all within a small lethal footprint.

DIME are among the technologies considered for inclusion in the Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) Upgrades for the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB). FLM exploites focused lethality munitions, which would further reduce a small diameter bomb's collateral damage. In the FLM, the steel casing will be replaced with one made of carbon fibers, thus eliminating fragmentation effect which, in standard bombs can reach up to 2,000 feet. FY2007 increase of $40.2M for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) supported teh examination of alternate bomb fills and casings into SDB Ipreparing for technology integration into SDB I.
I posted earlier on the Small Diameter Bomb supplied by the United States to the Israelis in December.

DemocracyNow! has more regarding the possible Israeli use of DIME and White Phosphorus, both banned and experimental weapons.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me go to Dr. Mads Gilbert, who has just returned from Gaza, the Shifa Hospital. He’s back in Norway right now. What did you see, in terms of the casualties, both when it comes to white phosphorus and also with this new weapon that you have been talking about called DIME?

DR. MADS GILBERT: I will answer that, but I think it’s important to understand that the most devastating weapon they are currently using is actually the siege of Gaza, which has been on for eighteen months, which means a lot of starvation, lack of food, water, power supplies, medicines, napkins, anything that people need to live. So it’s one-and-a-half million people who basically is now without their absolutely necessary means for living their lives, and that is, of course, illegal.

When it comes to the weaponry, we did not see clear evidence in patients that we received that they had been hit by white phosphorous, but we were told by the doctors and colleagues in Shifa that during the first days of the invasion, the ground invasion, they had seen this affecting as a side effect of the smokescreen use of the white phosphorus. And that was inhalation injuries, meaning that people have been breathing the phosphorus damp into their lungs, and burns. Also, by the end of our mission, when we left, there were fierce attacks in the south, and again the doctors in the European Hospital in South Gaza reported the same thing: burns and inhalation injuries. So it seems like my expert on the [inaudible] is right, that using such chemical means in so densely populated areas, as Gaza is, you will evidently have to affect also the civilians.

When it comes to the DIME weapons, we have seen a substantial number of amputations, where the amputees do not have shrapnel injuries. On the contrary, they have torn apart their legs, often one or two or even three limbs, their arm also. Some of them are beyond salvage, because the amputations are so high and so fierce that it also affects the lower part of the body. Some are survivable. But typical for these amputations is that there is no sign of metal fragments or shrapnel. It is only this very brutal amputations caused by some extreme power and small rice grain, rice, corn, pieces of some kind of substance, not metal, but—you know, the DIME weapon is a mixture of metals, nickel and cobalt, in a composite cast, not in a metal cast. And that’s explaining why you don’t see shrapnel.

The additional effect in animal studies on the DIME weapon is that the residuals in the muscle in mice will cause a very severe form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, which easily spreads to the lungs. This remains to be shown.

I underline we don’t have proof, but we have strong evidence that these amputations we’ve been seeing in Gaza for the last eleven days must come from some type of weapon that we don’t know of.
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