Goldstone brushed aside the use of White Phosphorus and Flechette weapons and only touched briefly on DIME weapons. He totally ignored weapons containing Uranium components such as the four weapons shown in this photograph.
So let's look at DIME (Dense Inert Metal Explosive) and how it works:
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. It cuts through victims with ease and for those lucky enough to survive such an attack the outlook is fairly grim. The fragments from such a weapon once embedded in the flesh of its victim will lead to cancer and can result in death as early as three months.
Two Norwegian doctors working in the Hospital in Gaza observed the unusual injuries of its victims like none other they had witnessed before. One of the doctors had worked in such war zones for almost 30 years. This same statement was supported by Egyptian doctors who had also noticed the unusual injuries. Some of those doctors went into more detail with the following report: Norwegian doctor Mad Gilbert, the blast results in multiple amputations and "very severe fractures. The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose, and you also have quite severe burns." Most of those who survive the initial blast quickly succumb to septicaemia and organ collapse. "Initially, everything seems in order...but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all their organs," says Dr. Jam Brommundt, a German doctor working in Kham Younis, a city in southern Gaza. "It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles...that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries; you are not able to attack them surgically." According to Brommundt, the particles cause multiple organ failures. A footnote to these comments is that such fragments lead to an aggressive form of cancer.
In Goldstone's report it stated the following in Paragraph 49: While the Mission is not in a position to state with certainty that so-called dense inert metal explosive (DIME) munitions were used by the Israeli armed forces, it did receive reports from Palestinian and foreign doctors who operated in Gaza during the military operations of a high percentage of patients with injuries compatible with their impact. DIME weapons and weapons armed with heavy metal are not prohibited under international law as it currently stands, but do raise specific health concerns. One can see the extensive perforations of embedded fragments in this lady's face in Gaza.
One could ask the question why the investigation team didn't collect samples from the hospital or from its victims for testing in the laboratory. I am sure that these types of weapon are also banned under the Geneva Convention in regard to its usage in densely populated areas and the fact such weapons are totally indiscriminate and lethal. Again we see such matters swept under the carpet.
Now the big one - the issue of weapons containing uranium components. It was to be expected that Richard Goldstone would give an extremely brief reference to depleted uranium when his report said the following in Paragraph 49: The Mission received allegations that depleted and no depleted uranium were used by Israeli forces in Gaza. These allegations were not further investigated by the Mission!......I ask the question "Why on earth not"?
Could one ever imagine that one of the most experienced war crime investigators had, in a flick of his pen, written off something so serious? How such extremely serious allegations could be pushed to one side is beyond imagination. I myself provided my own submission to the team whilst in Geneva and highlighted the pictorial evidence of such explosions. I also advised them of the samples that had been recovered from Gaza for Prof Chris Busby and that had tested positive to both DU/EU with a clear indication of fourth generation dirty weapons.
We are already seeing the signs of such contamination in the birth defects of newly born babies in the Gaza Strip - Sound familiar? It is clear that Gaza will succumb to the same genetic damage as in the Balkans, Iraq and now Afghanistan. We can now expect significant changes in the health statistics in Gaza and when this occurs will anyone ask the question "What is causing this"?
Again we see the UN with it large broom either avoiding the issues or removing the evidence. They lied in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and now Gaza. We see a massive clearing of buildings bombed by the IDF and the rubble being taken away for crushing to re surface the roads and streets in the Gaza Strip. This is an indespicable act that violates the UN's own policy in regard to possible contaminated sites. Instruction to their own staff clearly states the procedures required prior to any attempt to clear such sites. Now they have failed to address any possible DU investigation and totally disregarded their own safety regulations. The resultant aftermath of this blatant act will now cause secondary contamination to occur not only within the Gaza Strip but also in adjacent Israel, Egypt, Jordan and further afield.
We will now leave the weapons and look at other aspects of this deeply flawed report. I note with interest a strong emphasis on the holding of Gilad Shalit and the comments raised in paragraph 77: "The Mission is of the opinion that, as a soldier who belongs to the Israeli armed forces and who was captured during an enemy incursion into Israel, Gilad Shalit meets the requirements for Prisoner-of-war status under the Third Geneva Convention. As such, he should be protected, treated humanely and be allowed external communication as appropriate according to that Convention. The ICRC should be allowed to visit him without delay. Information about his condition should also be provided promptly to his family".
I am sure that many concerned parents and families in Palestine would appreciate the same concern and respect in regard to the many Palestinian male, female and juniors held indefinitely by the Israeli Government. We must all be aware of the weekly ritual carried out by the families of those held in captivity without charge or trial who with great passion continue to hold their own special vigil and ask the same questions. Their loved ones are certainly not given the same treatment as Shalit and therefore this aspect of the report is totally out of context. In paragraph 86 of the report it stated: It is estimated that since the beginning of the occupation, approximately 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained by Israel.
According to estimates, as at 1st June A/HRC/12/48 page 28 2009, there were approximately 8,100 Palestinian ‘political prisoners' in detention in Israel, including 60 women and 390 children. Most of these detainees are charged or convicted by the Israeli Military Court System that operates for Palestinians in the West Bank and under which due process rights for Palestinians are severely limited. Many are held in administrative detention and some under the Israeli "Unlawful Combatants Law".
What is ironic here is the fact that the long running atrocities carried out by the Israelis on the people of Palestine has for many years been very well documented. It did not, in some respects, warrant such a mission to highlight some of those atrocities when the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations had already done a magnificent job in reporting them over a long period of time. We can appreciate that this investigation was primarily for events just prior to Cast Lead and during the conflict. However, one must point out that this continued intimidation, oppression and humiliation as report by that Mission had so much to do with the retaliatory action taken by Palestinians.
Letters to the Secretary-General from The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN are described as follows: "Identical letters sent to the President of the Security Council and the President of the General Assembly. The purpose of these letters is to constitute a basic record of the crimes perpetuated by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem".
These letters are sent almost weekly and are very well documented on their webpage: http://www.un.int/palestine/letters09.shtml. They stem back to September 2000 up to the current time and one can almost feel the frustration of the author at continuously writing these very accurate reports to no avail. As you can see from the extract below they now number 342 and when you add to this the hundreds of UN Resolutions passed against Israel that have been totally ignored it is painfully obvious that the Secretary - General and the United Nations has no power whatsoever.
This letter is in follow-up to our previous 342 letters to you regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000. These letters, dated from 29 September 2000 (A/55/432-S/2000/921) to 3 August 2009 (A/ES-10/459-S/2009/401), constitute a basic record of the crimes being committed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian people since September 2000. For all of these war crimes, acts of State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people, Israel, the occupying Power, must be held accountable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
Dr. Riyad Mansour
Ambassador, Permanent Observer
of Palestine to the United Nations
To be continued........................
- Peter Eyre, Middle East Consultant