Gaza, Asharq Al-Awsat – Director of the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, Dr. Hussein Ashour, reports that the nature of the wounds sustained by the dead and injured reaching the hospital are unusual.
Al Shifa Hospital has reported similar findings throughout the years of occupation resulting from the use by Israeli forces of internationally banned weapons including carcinogens.
Yesterday’s reports on the use of phosphorus bombs have been confirmed.
Children with deep flesh burns have joined those of the severely dismembered and others who arrive at hospitals in unrecognizable condition. The reality is more horrifying than imaginable for most with the United Nations saying that the Gaza Strip was a “living hell.”
“The injuries here demonstrate that Israel is using prohibited weapons,” Dr. Ashour told Asharq Al Awsat. A Norwegian volunteer working in the hospital, who has also worked in the emergency rooms of Iraq during US invasions, reiterated that the nature of the wounds confirms the use of explosive materials containing carcinogenic substances.
Dr. Ashour and the Norwegian doctor certified that people infected by these types of explosives require treatment every six months in order to prevent the development of cancerous tumors.
Palestinian medical sources had confirmed that the nature of the burns, which afflicted the bodies of the dead and wounded Palestinians arriving at Gaza Strip hospitals, demonstrated that the Israeli army used white phosphorus bombs in the shelling of Palestinian civilian gatherings. Medical sources have reported that even the bones of some of the dead and injured were burned.
Residents of the northern Strip towns of Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, Gaza City’s eastern neighborhoods and Jabaliya Refugee Camp have reported that the smoke emitted after the bombing of Israeli aircraft led to dozens of cases of suffocation and shortness of breath. Once white phosphorus is released into the air it rapidly oxidizes. The interaction creates heat and produces a yellow flame and thick white smoke.
The British Times reported that Israeli forces have been using white phosphorus during bombings, while local organizations are asking for an inquiry into the use by Israeli forces of internationally prohibited weapons.
Human Rights Watch said that Israel should desist from the use of white phosphorus in the military operations in civilian populated areas in Gaza, while its investigators confirmed the use targeting Gaza City and Jabaliya.
In the view of Human Rights Watch the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas in Gaza contravenes international humanitarian law.