19 Jul 2006

Hezbollah Using Pesticide-Coated Shrapnel Against Israeli Civilians

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Reuters reports that Human Rights Watch has actually protested Hezbollah’s use of ballbearings to modify its rocket warheads into antipersonnel weapons aimed deliberately at Israeli civilians.

Hezbollah’s attacks in Israel on Sunday and Monday were at best indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas, at worst the deliberate targeting of civilians. Either way, they were serious violations of international humanitarian law and probable war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

Attacking civilian areas indiscriminately is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime…

.. the warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property. The ball bearings lodge in the body and cause serious harm.

Michael Kraft, posting at the Counterterrorism Blog, adds details of a revolting tactic.

There also have been reports that the metal fragments are sometimes dipped into a pesticide, in order to maximize the damage to the victims and make it more difficult for doctors to effectively treat their patients. However there has been little public reporting in the western media of this tactic, which causes torture to the victims who survive the original blast and additional agony for their families and friends.

Let’s hope Israel gets to apply “a proportionate response” to all those responsible.

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Never Yet Melted » Ball Bearings Used As Shrapnel

[…] Last month, we report Human Rights Watch’s protest over the use of ball bearings as shrapnel in Hezbollah’s rocket warheads. […]



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