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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another War Crime in Israel, the Killing of a Reuter's Cameraman

Yesterday in Gaza, Israel committed yet another war crime against Palestinians in firing a tank shell which riddled the body of the Reuter's camerman Fadel Shana, killing him and wounding three others.

B'Tselem issued a report today
claiming that he was killed by a Flachette shell based upon a statement from Gaza's Shifa Hospital. B'tsellem is calling for a full investigation into this horrific event.

In October 2002, Physicians for Human Rights- Israel and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights petitioned the High Court of Justice to forbid the IDF to use flachette shells in the Occupied Territories. The High Court denied the petition.

What exactly is a Flachette? It is a "Magic Bullet" containing depleted uranium which is designed to break through steel. From Time Magazine:

Since the first atomic explosion at Alamogordo, N. Mex., in 1945, uranium has been the key ingredient in nuclear armaments. Now, in a surprising change of role, the heavy metal is showing promise in more conventional weapons. When fired from test guns, tiny uranium projectiles produced by California's TRW Systems and several other companies, have had such devastating effects on targets during recent demonstrations that the Department of Defense has been awarding contracts for further development work.

TRW's magic bullets are unimpressive at first glance. Less than 4 in. long and one-tenth of an inch thick, they resemble the steel flechettes (French for "little arrows") used in some U.S. antipersonnel weapons in Viet Nam. What the TRW flechettes lack in size, they make up in penetration power. In recent tests, they punched completely through a 2-in.-thick armor plate that would stop most steel flechettes or heavy-caliber bullets fired at it.

Dramatic Travel. It is the uranium that gives the flechettes their impressive muscle. Cleansed of its fissionable isotopes U-235, the depleted uranium is safe to handle. Because it is one of the heaviest natural elements (a 1-ft. cube of uranium weighs 1,167 lbs.), even a tiny uranium flechette fired at high velocity from a gun has so much kinetic energy that it can penetrate a target at an angle as oblique as 60°.

When it enters the target, the flechette is stripped of an ablative coating that has protected the uranium from the 1000° F. temperature generated by air friction (solid uranium will ignite at 338° F.) As the bare depleted uranium comes in contact with steel, an exothermic, or heat-producing, effect occurs when the metals react chemically. This instantaneous heating, combined with the searing heat of impact, raises the temperature of the surrounding steel to such a degree that the flechette literally melts its way through, leaving a hole many times its own diameter.

International law protects journalists, or is supposed to. Read the full text of UN Security Council Resolution 1738 HERE.

Read on Al Jazeera "Arms row over cameraman's death"

Here is Fadel speaking in an interview for Al Jazeera on April 8, 2008, just eight days ago. This fatal shooting was not the first time he has been shot and wounded by the IOF

This is Fadel yesterday: (Hat-tip to Desert Peace who borrowed these photos from Philistine who originally posted them)

Al Jazeera reports on his death in the following video

Every single US presidential candidate there is has been falling over in proving their "stalwart support" for Israel, it is HIGH time these candidates be challenged as to this. Israel is a rogue nation which commits war crimes against the Palestinians on a regular basis. Take time today to report this to your elected officials so that PERHAPS our own country can begin to break the stranglehold the Israeli Lobby has on us. The above incident will not be the last, but it is up to us as US citizens to lobby our elected officials on behalf of the Palestinian people. NO MORE SUPPORT for the state of Israel in its' crimes!

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