Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) -ISRAEL used experimental weapons in Gaza.
In mid-October 2006 a team of investigative journalists at RAI Italian television reported that Israel had been using a new weapon in the Gaza Strip, similar to DIME – dense inert metal explosive. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the weapon was launched from drones in the summer of 2006, most of them in July, and led to “abnormally serious” physical injuries. Physicians in the Gaza Strip noted the pattern of wounds they were treating were unusual, with severed legs that showed signs of severe heat at the point of amputation but no metal shrapnel. This kind of weapon was claimed to be “highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment”.
DIME is an weapon developed at the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Publicly, it is slated for initial deployment in 2008. DIME bombs produce an unusually powerful blast within a relatively small area, spraying a superheated “micro-shrapnel” of powdered Heavy Metal Tungsten Alloy (HMTA). Scientific studies have found that HMTA is chemically toxic, damages the immune system, rapidly causes cancer, and attacks DNA (genotoxic).
“When the shrapnel hit the body, it causes very strong burns that destroy the tissues around the bones… it burns and destroys internal organs, like the liver, kidneys, and the spleen and other organs and makes saving the wounded almost impossible. As a surgeon, I have seen thousands of wounds during the Intifada, but nothing was like this weapon.”[Dr. Al-Saqqa]
“”” Rory McCarthy in Gaza City
Tuesday October 17, 2006
Doctors in Gaza have reported previously unseen injuries from Israeli weapons that cause severe burning and deep internal wounds often resulting in amputations or death.
The injuries were first seen in July, when the Israeli military launched a series of operations in Gaza following the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants.
Doctors said that, unlike traditional combat injuries from shells or bullets, there were no large shrapnel pieces found in the patients’ bodies and there appeared to be a “dusting” on severely damaged internal organs.
“Bodies arrived severely fragmented, melted and disfigured,” said Jumaa Saqa’a, a doctor at Shifa hospital, the main casualty hospital in Gaza City. “We found internal burning of organs, while externally there were minute pieces of shrapnel. When we opened many of the injured people we found dusting on the internal organs.”
It is not clear whether the injuries come from a new weapon. The Israeli military declined to detail the weapons in its arsenal, but denied reports that the injuries came from a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (Dime), a new experimental weapon that causes a powerful blast but in a localized area. The Dime, while causing severe injuries to its target, is intended to limit what the defence industry calls “collateral damage.”
In Gaza, Dr Saqa’a said the small pieces of shrapnel found in patients’ bodies did not show up under x-ray. “We are used to seeing shrapnel penetrate the body making localized damage. Now we didn’t see shrapnel, but we found the destruction,” he said.
Most of the injuries were around the abdomen, nearly a metre up from the ground, he said. The doctors also found that an injured patient who had been stabilised after one or two days, might suddenly die. “The patient dies without any apparent scientific cause,” he said. “So far we don’t know why.”
At the Kamal Odwan Hospital, in Beit Lahiya, deputy director Saied Jouda, said he had found similar injuries. “We don’t know what it means – new weapons or something new added to a previous weapon,” he said. “We had patients who died after stabilisation and that is very unusual.”
He too found patients with severe internal injuries without signs of any large shrapnel pieces. Often there was severe burning. “There was burning, big raw areas of charred flesh,” he said. “This must be related to the type of explosive material.”
Photographs of some of the dead from Shifa hospital showed bodies that had been melted and blackened beyond recognition. Others showed internal bleeding without signs of shrapnel wounds. In several cases doctors amputated badly burnt limbs.
At least 250 Palestinians have died in Gaza since the latest military operations began and hundreds more have been injured. Neither of the doctors could give exact figures for the numbers of patients suffering the new injuries, although both said that most of those brought in during July showed signs of these injuries.
Dr Saqa’a of the Shifa hospital said the injuries occurred over a six-week period beginning in late June and running until early August, while Dr Jouda from Kamal Odwan hospital said he believed patients admitted even in recent days still showed signs of these unusual injuries.
The health ministry in Gaza has reported these injuries came from an “unprecedented type of projectile,” and also noted severe burning and badly damaged internal organs, often around the abdomen. It called for an investigation into the cause of the wounds.
“You have complete burns that lead to amputation. You find shrapnel entering the body and leaving very, very small holes. We have never seen this before,” said Khalid Radi, a spokesman at the health ministry.
Tissue samples from patients in Gaza were given to journalists from the Italian television channel RAI. In a documentary shown last week, the channel said the injuries appeared similar to the effects of the Dime. An Italian laboratory that analyzed the samples reportedly said its results were “compatible with the hypothesis” that a Dime weapon was involved.
The weapon is new and in the US is still in the early stages of development. It has a carbon-fiber casing and contains fine tungsten particles rather than ordinary metal shrapnel. It causes a very powerful blast…
However, the Israel Defence Force (IDF) denies the use of Dime weapons. “”” [SOURCE : http://www.guardian.co.uk ]