Such drones are, of course, not bringing candy to Palestinians. They are being used to drop weapons which cause horrific injuries.
A new briefing from Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group, details how Hellfire rockets connected to drones are firing DIME (dense inert metal explosives) into residential areas of Gaza. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor working in Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital, hasspoken of how injuries he has seen in recent weeks appear to have been caused by DIME.
Bodies cut in half
A DIME bomb usually contains a mixture of explosive material, cobalt, nickel, iron and tungsten alloy. The bomb leaves almost no metallic fragments in the human body.
The injuries of victims who have been hit by DIME bombs are therefore distinguishable from injuries from traditional, metal-coated weapons. Physicians in the Gaza Strip have observed how entire bodies have been cut in half, bones shattered, and skin, muscle and bones turned into charcoal due to the heavy burns caused by these bombs.
Furthermore, DIME bombs have dangerous biological effects on the victims and cause tissue to be torn from flesh. Amputations caused by the bombs are extremely difficult to treat and frequently result in death. Work on treating such injuries has been made all the more difficult by how Israel has attacked more than twenty health facilities.
Palestinians who survive the DIME injuries are at high risk of contracting cancer. Exposure to a mixture of tungsten and cobalt are linked to early signs of lung cancer, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Al-Haq argues that Israel’s use of DIME bombs against the people of Gaza violates international humanitarian law.
In addition, the 1980 convention on chemical weapons prohibits the use of weapons which “cause superfluous injury or excessive suffering.” Israel has signed that convention.
The convention also prohibits the use of any weapon which aims to injure by placing fragments in the human body that escape detection. Al-Haq argues that Israel is using Palestinian civilians in Gaza to test DIME bombs. By doing so, Israel violates the principle of humanity in international law, which requires that all persons be treated humanely in all circumstances.