January 18, 2009, 23:15
Cairo: Doctors operating the only brain-scanning machine at an Egyptian hospital near Gaza have been almost overwhelmed by the number of Palestinian children arriving with bullet wounds to the head.
On just one day last week, staff at the Al Arish hospital in Sinai were called to perform CAT scans on a nine year old, two 10 year olds and a 14 year old, each of whom had a bullet lodged in their brain after coming under fire during the Israeli ground assault on Gaza.
Israeli officials continued to deny on Saturday that their soldiers had deliberately targeted civilians, blaming Hamas fighters for sheltering in the houses of ordinary Gaza residents and using them as human shields.
But there is no disputing the scale of the suffering in Gaza or its heavy impact on the young.
Israel bombs a Gaza cemetery
See the video here
Howard Friel on the history of the ceasefire:
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The first time I read “Night,” the memoir that describes your horrific experiences during the Holocaust, was in 2003.
In my opinion, two books everyone in the world should read are “Night” and Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom.”
Like you, I also suffered during my childhood. In 1992, my life was turned upside down when the civil war broke out in Bosnia, my country. At the time, I was 13 and my sister was 11.
My family is Serbian and we stayed in our city, Gorazde, which was held under siege by Serbian forces. Over time, many of our Muslim neighbors and even some friends began to view us as the enemy.
For two years, my family endured treatment that no human being should ever be subjected to. We were shot at, terrorized, put in a detention camp, starved and eventually stripped of everything we owned. All this because of our ethnicity.
By Dr. Mosheer Amer
Since Israel began its recent attacks on Gaza, the world has been watching the unfolding events with increasing concern over the alarming rise in Palestinian civilian deaths and the repercussions of the Israeli onslaught on the stability of the whole region.
Over 800 Palestinians have been killed; nearly half of them are civilians, including dozens of women and children, according to U.N. reports. Israeli forces have targeted homes, schools, universities, mosques, police stations, and other civilian infrastructure. Nowhere is safe in Gaza and a dark cloud of pain, grief and fear has engulfed the civilian population.
When Israel was created following the 1948 war, Israeli forces destroyed and depopulated about 457 Palestinian villages and towns resulting in the eviction and flight of about 750,000 Palestinians (three-quarters of the Palestinian people). Hundreds of thousands of those ethnically cleansed Palestinians fled to the Gaza Strip. For the past 60 years they have been living in slum-like refugee camps, where 80% of Gazans are dependant on food aid.
DU, Phosphorous and now “DIME”.
OSLO (AFP) ? Israel is testing a new “extremely nasty” type of weapon in Gaza, two medics charged as they returned home to Norway Monday after spending 10 days working at a hospital in the war-torn Palestinian territory.
“There’s a very strong suspicion I think that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons,” Mads Gilbert told reporters at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, commenting on the kinds of injuries he and his colleague Erik Fosse had seen while working at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
The two medics, who were sent into the war zone by the pro-Palestinian aid organisation NORWAC on December 31, said they had seen clear signs that Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), an experimental kind of explosive, were being used in Gaza.
“This is a new generation of very powerful small explosives that detonates with an extreme power and dissipates its power within a range of five to 10 metres (16-98 feet),” said Gilbert, 61.
“We have not seen the casualties affected directly by the bomb because they are normally torn to pieces and do not survive, but we have seen a number of very brutal amputations… without shrapnel injuries which we strongly suspect must have been caused by the DIME weapons,” he added.
The weapon “causes the tissue to be torn from the flesh. It looks very different (from a shrapnel injury). I have seen and treated a lot of different injuries for the last 30 years in different war zones, and this looks completely different,” said Fosse, 58.
“If you are in the immediate (vicinity of) a DIME weapon, it’s like your legs get torn off. It’s an enormous pressure wave and there is no shrapnel,” he explained.
Gilbert also accused Israel of having used the weapon in the 2006 Lebanon war and previously in Gaza, and referred to studies showing wounds from the explosive could cause lethal forms of cancer within just four to six months.
“Israel should disclose what weapons they use and the international community should make an investigation,” he said, stressing the amount of damage apparently caused by the new form of explosive.
“We are not soft-skinned when it comes to war injuries, but these amputations are really extremely nasty and for many of the patients not survivable,” he said.