By Peter Eyre
(source: Palestine Telegraph)
Whenever I try to break away from talking about the deeply disturbing use of American and Israeli WMD’s both during the Lebanon conflict in 2006 and in Gaza during Cast Lead in 2008/9 I find myself being haunted by more gut-wrenching stories coming out of the strip.
Christmas for the people in the West is a very special time for family and friends to gather round in a cosy, warm, healthy and secure environment to share the joy of this special time of year. We share the love of family and the joy of distant relatives coming to stay with us. We share the opening of presents and see the faces of the children as they unwrap these colourful parcels. We eat and drink until one can hardly move and feel so bloated.
Unfortunately I also want to experience this same joy but the anniversary of the attack on Gaza is casting a very dark grey cloud over my home and it is when I research more and more into this terrible act against humankind that I know in my heart the people of Gaza will not share the luxuries that we enjoy.
A survey was carried out to compare the health of the people of Gaza back in the summer of 2008 and the summer following the Israeli attack in 2009. The report is shocking to say the least and one can clearly see that the health problems have more than doubled as a direct result of the IDF's use of illegal weapons that can only be described as WMD's. Most of these weapons are manufactured in the US and exported to Israel under a Foreign Military Sales Program which is part of the US security assistance to authorised foreign purchasers.
This programme falls under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and conducted using formal contracts or agreements between the United States Government (USG) and an authorized foreign purchaser. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the President of the United States himself makes the determination as to if the prospective purchaser is eligible. The first priority of the US Criteria is the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to such a country or international organization is that it must strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace.
As one can clearly see the authorisation comes directly from the President and therefore if the weapons in question are indiscriminate or of a nature to cause some concern then he, as the Commander in Chief, must approve the export and at the same time must know its application. It is therefore a possibility that President Obama could become implicated in any such deal since he took office and as such could constitute as being a war crime. The weapons that were used in Lebanon, Gaza and also currently in Afghanistan and Pakistan are or were totally illegal. They are currently classified as conventional weapons when in actual fact many of them contain uranium components and therefore fall into the category of WMD's In January 2009, Congressman Dennis Kucinich sent notice to Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, that Israel's actions in Gaza since December 27th, 2008 may constitute a violation of the requirements of the Arms Export Control Act. When the President is aware of the possibility of such violations, the AECA requires a report to Congress on the potential violation(s). Samples collected from Gaza were tested at Harwell famous laboratory in the UK and tested positive to both DU/EU. Experts considered that Gaza may have been used as a test bed for 4th Generation Weapons. It is also believed that Israel Military Industries Ltd (IMI) also manufacture such illegal weaponry and have in the past converted Harpoon missiles from the US into nuclear warheads. Israel continues to carry out in all sphere of nuclear development totally unchecked under the watchful eye of the US President, the US Administration, the US Congress and Department of Defense. Let's now get back to the contamination bestowed on the people of Gaza and West Bank. It should also be pointed out that when the IDF use these weapons they are also nuking themselves (Israel) and all downwind countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and beyond. So what is now showing up in the health system of Palestine? You will no doubt have guessed…….exactly the same as what happened in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza and now Pakistan. Significant rise in all types of cancers, diabetes, mental illnesses, infertility, still births and gross birth defects.
Al Dameer Association for Human Rights (Palestinian NGO) published a position paper on "Health and Environmental Problems in the Gaza Strip that lead to an Increase in the Number of Babies Born with Birth Defects, Abortion, and Cancer Diseases Due to the IOF Use to Radioactive and Toxic Materials during its Latest Offensive on the Strip". The paper warns about the spike in the number of birth defects in babies born in Gaza following the Israeli offensive on the Strip. Such cases are caused by Israel's use of illegal munitions against the civilians in the Gaza Strip. That was in addition to the pollution of the environment and its entire components as water, air, and soil, which violates the citizens' rights to live in a clean healthy environment. The paper shows an increase in the number of babies born with birth defects after the Israeli war. Some cases where birth defects, such as incomplete hearts and malformations of the brain have started appearing due to Israel's use of internationally banned weapons during their war against the civilians. During August, September, and October 2008 there were 27 cases compared to 47 cases in 2009. These three months were compared with the same three months in 2009, which shows an increase in birth defects in aborted fetuses and newborns. Al Dammer considers the IOF use to internationally banned phosphorous shells and dozens of types of weapons that carry toxins has delayed lethal effects , which may appear in the future in the form of malignant and dangerous diseases. The health effects on Palestinians who were targeted in Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008 – 2009 still manifest day by day. There were an increase in cancer disease among children and elderly people, in addition to early abortion and registering many cases that suffer from problems in the respiratory and nervous systems, and it has also its impact on the fertility of men. That was in addition to its disastrous impact on the Palestinian environment and its entire components as air, water, and soil. Collective punishment is a crime under the Geneva Convention and the use of such indiscriminate weapons is also illegal under the same convention. Al Dameer went on to say that the International Community has failed to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, as no serious measures have been taken towards pressurizing Israel to lift the siege, reopen the Gaza Strip crossings, or allow the entry of fuel, medical equipments and team to face the deteriorated health situation in Gaza. We again see the same old signs emerging in all the theatres of war that have become victim to US, UK, NATO and IDF weaponry. When is the United Nations going to do its job correctly?…..if such an organization remains powerless or under the control of the US then it should fail like its predecessor The League of Nations, fold up and save us all an awful lot of money. If on the other hand someone in authority at the UN reads this article then maybe we can live in hope. Either way they have to stop sitting on their hands and start representing the World that pays them. We should not be spoofed by Obama's call to ban WMD's when he himself is allowing the continued manufacturing of "Mini Nukes" whose deadly aerosols have the potential to kill millions worldwide. The two bombs dropped on Japan in WW2 would appear to be on a much smaller scale than the current weapons that contain both DU/EU components. Again I would like to shame the UNEP, UNDP and WHO for their huge cover-up on this issue. They send vast teams of men and equipment to the far corners of the globe to investigate for DU/EU. It's simply a question if you don't look in the right place you will not find or if you walk around wearing extremely dark sunglasses you are not likely see anything! It's amazing that the private sector investigators and researchers always find what they are looking for. I really do not know how many more times I have to keep repeating this message to the UN….I copy it to many world renown organizations in Geneva and elsewhere such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent but still they continue on in their totally blind manner…….shame on you all……remember when you all sit around your Christmas table with family, friends and loved ones just remember that because of your lack of responsibility and duty of care towards the citizens of planet earth and its environment we now have on our hands a genocide of gigantic proportions. One could always live in hope that Mr Francis Deng the newly appointed Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities at the United Nations reads this article…….but then again when it comes to Gaza and the Palestinians nothing ever gets done, the Arab League sit on their hands and the rest of the world simply watches.