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Israeli use of poisonous material alleged

July 10, 2006 at 2:59 PM   |   Comments

GAZA, July 10 (UPI) -- The Palestinian health ministry accused Israel of using a new type of banned explosives containing poisonous material.

A ministry report released Monday said testimonies from surgeons in Palestinian hospitals indicated that "all 249 casualties inflicted by the Israeli war machine during the operation on Gaza which started on June 27 resulted from shrapnel of new and developed shells and explosives which cause amputation of limbs and burning of all the injured parts."

The ministry called on the international community and human rights organization "to send medical committees to examine the wounded and verify the existence of poisonous material in their bodies caused by Israeli weapons."

It also urged international organization to put pressure on Israel to stop using internationally banned arms against inoffensive and unarmed civilians.

The report indicated that "most casualties who were submitted to surgeries were caused by strong explosions that led to the amputation and carbonization of limbs while shrapnel caused small openings in the body through which internal parts, including intestines and spleen, are burned."

In a related development, the foreign ministry warned Monday that Israel's military operations and threats to expand its incursion in Gaza will not contribute to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis of the Israeli soldier abducted by three Palestinian factions, including Hamas which leads the Palestinian government.

The ministry said in a statement that "international idleness and silence over Israel's crimes do not contribute to boosting the rule of the law but encourages the law of the jungle and Israel's ignoring of all international norms."

Israel launched operation "Summer Rains" in Gaza two weeks ago in an attempt to free Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was abducted in an attack on the crossing of Keer Shalom between Gaza and Israel by militants from Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Islamic Army.

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