- We can see in this picture some of the heavier bombs
that were dropped on Gaza but didn't go off. Was this a blessing or had
the contamination of Gaza already taken place? We know that many weapons
contain Depleted Uranium but we do not know what is contained in these
bigger munitions of war. As we have previously reported in my last article
some of the larger bombs dropped in Lebanon were "Dirty Bombs"
that contain Enriched Uranium. The question is where are these bombs now?
Have they been removed by the UN and hidden or is Hamas still holding them
somewhere? Either way we have to have these large weapons analysed and
tested. There would also be more evidence lying somewhere in Gaza that
will provide more substantial proof that the IDF were and still are using
illegal weapons on the Gaza Strip.
- My purpose for attempting to visit Gaza onboard the "Spirit
of Humanity" was to meet with the authorities in Gaza to explain the
current status in Gaza and how they can alleviate secondary contamination.
I did not manage to sail from Larnaca as the whole operation became a political
farce with many grey areas that caused me deep concern. Loaded with so
much evidence I can only thank God those circumstances caused me to be
left behind as the boat was intercepted by the Israeli Navy and the crew
and passenger ended up in an Israeli prison.
- Before we talk about the contamination of Gaza we have
to fall back on the Iraq experience to truly evaluate the problems that
lies ahead, not only in Gaza but also in Lebanon. This we will cover later
after first revealing the data from Iraq.
- Lets know look at the experience from the Iraqi perspective
which was accurately written up by Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi Assoc. Prof.
/ Mamoun Univ. for Science & Technology Titled : Depleted Uranium Radioactive
Contamination In Iraq. Vital parts of his report are written below:
- Dr Al-Azzawi opened up with this powerful statement:
- "Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against
Iraq for the first time in the history of recent wars. The magnitude of
the complications and damage related to the use of such radioactive and
toxic weapons on the environment and the human population mostly results
from the intended concealment, denial and misleading information released
by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics and the area's in
Iraq, in which these weapons have been used"
- Dr Al-Azzawi stated that the revelation of information
regarding what is called the Gulf War Syndrome among exposed American veterans
helped Iraqi researchers and Medical Doctors to understand the nature of
the effect of these weapons and the means required to investigate further
into this issue. The synergetic impact on health due to the post Gulf War
I economical sanctions and DU related radioactive contamination raised
the number of casualties in contaminated areas as in southern Iraq.
- Continual usage of DU after Gulf War I on other Iraqi
territories through the illegal No-Fly Zones and the major DU loaded Cruise
Missiles attack of year 1998, all contributed in making the problem increasingly
- During 2003, military operations conducted in Iraq by
the invading forces used additional rounds of DU in heavily populated areas
such as Baghdad, Samawa and other provinces. It is only fair to conclude
that the environment in Iraq and its population have been exposed continuously
to DU weaponry or its contaminating remains, since 1991. Accordingly millions
of Iraqi's have received higher doses of radioactivity than ordinary background
levels. As a result a multi-fold increase of low level radiation exposure
related diseases have been registered since 1995. An increase of children's
leukaemia, congenital malformations, breast cancer etc
- This vital document revealed some interesting facts:
- The shift of leukaemia incidence rates towards younger
children during the recent years, and its association with geographically
distributed contaminated areas, offers strong evidence of the correlation
between LLR exposure and resulted health damages.
- Through this paper, an overview of major scientific DU
conclusions will be presented, drawn from investigations and research conducted
since the year 1991 by Iraqi researchers and MDs. Schemes of these researches
can be classified into three categories:
- 1. DU contamination detection and exploration programs.
- 2. DU effects on human body cells.
- 3. DU related epidemiological studies.
- With the comprehensive sanctions that were imposed on
Iraq, the USA & its allies purposely used these radioactive & toxic
weapons to exhaust Iraq's strength & population to prepare for the
invasion of Iraq in 2003. Hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure were also
used during the invasion of Iraq. This was done to worsen the radioactive
contamination impact. Additionally, the occupying forces have forbade any
kind of (DU) related exploration programs or research. They have also covered
up and denied DU's damaging health effects, and refused to release information
on the amounts, types and locations of these weapons within Iraq. As a
consequence, thousands of Iraqi children and their families are suffering
from different low level radiation (LLR) related diseases such as congenital
malformations, malignancies, congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberration
and multiple malformations. Women in the contaminated areas suffered high
rates of miscarriages and sterility.
- The American and British occupation forces are totally
- 1- Forbidding any release of statistics related to civilian
casualties after the occupation.
- 2- Refusal to clean up contaminated areas.
- 3- Depriving international agencies and Iraqi researchers
the right to conduct full (DU) related exploration programs by USA occupation
forces to prevent further damages is the best evidence that these forces
are covering up their certain conclusive evidence of the harmful health
impacts of DU.
- All these acts are crimes against humanity because these
weapons are causing undifferentiated harm and suffering to civilians in
all contaminated areas. Health effects can range from fatigue and muscular
pain to genetic disorder, chromosome aberrations, and malignancies. Existence
of DU in the environment will maintain continuous exposure to both toxic
and radioactive effects which represent continuous systematic attacks on
civilians in an armed conflict (Article 4 of the official regulations and
article 7 of ICC).
- In addition to the extremely high human suffering we
have to add the area of contamination as a result of the onslaught namely:
- 1718 km? of soil contaminated with DU oxides and particles,
- 140,000 m? of channel sediments,
- 845, 100 tons of vegetation cover
- We feel obligated to let the world know that some of
these researches cost the authors their lives e.g. Dr. Alim Abdul Hameed
Yacoub who was killed, along with his son, when his car was forced off
the highway on the way to his home town of Basrah after being attacked
twice at his home by pro-occupation militias two weeks before his death.
They cost other researchers their freedom, such as Dr. Huda Ammash who
was accused of being (Lady Anthrax) and imprisoned without any real accusation
for 3 years. The assassination of 250 Iraqi scientists after Iraq's invasion
by occupation militias is the best way not to continue any kind of research
including DU-related research in occupied Iraq.
- 1- The USA and UK continuously used Depleted Uranium
weapons against the population and environment in Iraq from 1991 until
- 2- Occupation forces in Iraq intentionally denied and
covered up the types, locations and amounts of weapons that were used to
prevent taking measures which could reduce health damages resulting from
- 3- Occupation forces prohibited UNEP, WHO and other international
agencies to conduct any exploration programs to assess the health risks
to the people of Iraq of these radioactive contaminants.
- 4- Forbidding the release of any casualty statistics
by the health ministry in Iraq right after the occupation is part of the
crime that has been continuously committed against Iraq and Iraqis.
- 5- Exploration programs and site measurements proved
without a doubt that the existence of DU related radioactive contamination
all over most of Iraq (except the northern area of Kurdistan).
- 6- Published epidemiological studies in Basrah introduced
a clear correlation between DU related exposure to LLR and the multifold
increase of malignancies, congenital malformations and multiple malformations
in detected DU contaminated areas.
- 7- Other pathological and hematological studies indicated
the existence of chromosomal and DNA aberrations and abnormalities in the
1991 Iraqi Gulf War veterans. Other studies proved their effects on lowering
the activities of the human immune system in exposed individuals.
- 8- Iraqi researchers' site measurements of 2000 revealed
the fact that the Muthana governorate and Al-Samawa city were contaminated
since 1991. This fact was proven by the Dutch troops in 2003, and then
the American Guardsmen who served in that area after the invasion and confirmed
exposure to DU contamination after coming back home by Dr. Drakovic.
- 9- Intentional continuous use of DU against the people
and environment of Iraq is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiated
harmful health impacts on civilian long times after the military operations.
Existing DU contamination in the surrounding environment is a continuous
source of (LLR) exposure to civilians which can be considered systematic
attacks on civilians in an armed conflict. Article 4 of the official regulations
and Article 7 of the ICC.
- Does this child in Gaza know what lies beneath his feet
as he plays around in this pile of rubble?
- Do we in the international community really care that
Gaza is contaminated and those locations should be secured and sealed from
public access (especially children)?
- Who will decontaminate Gaza?
- The final part in the Gaza story will continue in the
- Peter Eyre
- Middle East Consultant
- 13th July 2009