Gaza: Death’s Laboratory

Dandelion Salad

Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News


The following comment didn’t make it into the introduction to Conn Hallinan’s “Dispatches from The Edge – Gaza: Death’s Laboratory.”

We would like to point out that while the article mentions accusations regarding use of depleted uranium (DU) in Gaza, it doesn’t provide any corroborating evidence.

This isn’t to say that DU wasn’t employed in Gaza. It’s just that we feel that mentioning such a serious accusation without offering substantiation is a questionable practice.

Racheli Gai and Rela Mazali.

Jewish Peace News


This article presents a damning rundown of Israeli war crimes in Gaza–including apparent use of a new weapon (developed in the U.S.) that is extra-lethal and highly cancerous, as well as the better known cases of the use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium. The U.S. provided a significant portion of these weapons to Israel.

–Rebecca Vilkomerson

Berkeley Daily Planet

Dispatches From The Edge—Gaza: Death’s Laboratory

By Conn Hallinan

Wednesday February 18, 2009

It was as if they had stepped on a mine, but there was no shrapnel in the wound. Some had lost their legs. It looked as though they had been sliced off. I have been to war zones for 30 years, but I have never seen such injuries before.

—Dr. Erik Fosse, Norwegian cardiologist who worked in Gaza hospitals during the recent war.

What Dr. Fosse was describing was the effects of a U.S. “focused lethality” weapon that minimalizes explosive damage to structures while inflicting catastrophic wounds on its victims. While the weapon has been used in Iraq, Gaza was the first test of the bomb in a densely populated environment.

The specific weapon—the GBU-39—is a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) and was developed by the U.S. Air Force, Boeing Corporation, and University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2000. The weapon wraps the high explosives HMX or RDX with a tungsten alloy and other metals like cobalt, nickel or iron, in a carbon fiber/epoxy container. When the bomb explodes, the container evaporates and the tungsten turns into micro-shrapnel that is extremely lethal up to about 60 feet.

Tungsten is inert, so it does not react chemically with the explosive. While a non-inert metal like aluminum would increase the blast, tungsten actually limits the explosion.



Focus on Gaza: A Crime of War?

A Choice Between Peace and Peril by Chris Hedges

Suspend military aid to Israel, Amnesty urges Obama after detailing US weapons used in Gaza


7 thoughts on “Gaza: Death’s Laboratory

  1. Pingback: Interpol issues arrest warrants for 15 Israelis « Dandelion Salad

  2. OK, guys, take it elsewhere, I’m tired of all the moderation your comments need. I don’t have the time to do this.

    I deleted several comments in their entirety.

  3. You claim Israel used Gaza as a weapons testing lab. That’s the standard party line from the Hamas supporters.

    I say that Israel, faced with an enemy that prefers to fight from directly within the civilian population, chose weaponry – very expensive weaponry – that was designed to have a very, very limited damage radius.

    Yes, DIME munitions are devastatingly lethal within that very limit range, but completely harmless outside of it.

    Try thinking – for just a moment – about what the “civilian” casualties would have been if Israel had used conventional iron bombs. Have you ever seen old photos of Berlin, Kiev, or Dresden?

    Those who attack Israel and US in defense of Hamas are morally complicit in terrorism. If you participate in terrorism, you are conspiratorial, and should be exterminated.

  4. Pingback: Focus on Gaza: Policing Gaza « Dandelion Salad

  5. “Ignorant”?

    DIME munitions are not yet banned because they are experimental and haven’t been officially tested and banned:

    Any such weapons inflicting the sort of damage they do, would likely be banned, given the proper legal review.

    Any such use of weapons, if used against civilians, are by definition illegal, insofar as the military intentionally inflicted these crimes against civilians, which they apparently, allegedly did. May the evidence be gathered and presented in a tribunal. Let the law decide what are war crimes. The evidence looks definitive.

    Israel apparently used Gaza as an experimental laboratory for some extremely sinister newfangled explosives, and used them against densely civilian populated areas.

    This article is not ‘irresponsible’. The Israelis, if shown to have used DIME against civilians, are war criminals. If they used white phosphorus against civilians as a weapon, they are war criminals.

    The siege of Gaza itself, in terms of the destruction of the civilian population was arguably itself a warcrime.

    Those who defend israel, knowing what they’ve done, and actively support what they’ve done, are morally complicit in these war crimes against civilians.

    If you participate in these war-crimes, you are conspiratorial, and should be prosecuted in kind.

  6. Do you realize how ignorant this article is? DIME munitions are perfectly legal and are designed to minimize collateral damage. Given that they’re much more expensive than traditional munitions, it was an act of charity for Israel to use them instead of cheaper but more destructive “iron bombs.”

    • did you read the full article on the link provided? I’m not sure the essence of the article is captured in this excerpt.

Comments are closed.