From the Electronic Intifada (fragment):
Baker al-Derdy, the head nurse in Nasser hospital, said that when this man was first admitted, there was “a strange smell, almost chemical” from him. Al-Derdy pointed to other indications that Israel may have used chemical weapons during its offensive.
“Some of the symptoms we have seen are abnormal,” al-Derdy added. “The type of burns that appear on the bodies suggest that the weapons employed were not conventional. The burns go deep into the skin and the skin itself turns blue. And I can tell you that the burns hit even the third layer of the skin.”
Israel is known to have used white phosphorous — a highly combustible substance — during Operation Cast Lead, its three week attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. In January 2009, Amnesty International investigators reported finding white phosphorous wedges on residential buildings in Gaza City. Once it comes in contact with human skin, white phosphorous can burn deeply into the muscle and bone (“Israel used white phosphorous in Gaza civilian areas,” 19 January 2009).
Burnt-out bodiesAshraf al-Qedra, a spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, said that it was not possible to confirm that chemical weapons were used by Israel last month. But al-Qedra also acknowledged that some of the burns witnessed were deeper than those associated with conventional weapons.
“We in Gaza and health bodies in the West Bank do not have laboratories where we could properly examine what types of weapons have been used in Israeli attacks,” al-Qedra said. “But according to what we have seen so far, it appears that Israel used some explosive weapons or ammunition that caused burns and deep wounds. In most cases of those killed, we have seen that bodies were either torn apart or completely burnt out. Also, many of those injured have had their lower or upper limbs amputated.”
|Victim of Zionist terrorism with deep burns (white phosphorus probably)|
These symptoms are quite clear indications of the use of white phosphorus and DIME explosives against civilians. White phosphorus cannot be used in densely populated areas according to the Geneva accords (which still allow its use in a purely military frontline, clearly not the case here), DIME explosives are so far unregulated but fit all the conditions to be illegal because they mean to cause harm in the long run, like so many illegal weapons, and are being used against civilian areas.