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Published on Jan 7, 2009
Israeli forces in Gaza have been accused of using unconventional weapons during their operations. In an interview with Irans Press TV, Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who arrived at Gazas Al Shifa hospital as a volunteer, said Israelis had used a tungsten alloy weapon that could generate pressure waves powerful enough to sever limbs.
I can tell you that we have clear evidence that the Israelis are using a new type of very high explosive weapons which are called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) and are made out of a tungsten alloy, he said. Almost all of the patients we have received have these severe amputations. They seem to have been affected by this kind of weapon, Dr. Gilbert observed.
Dr. Gilbert pointed out that Israel first used DIME weapons in the 2006 Lebanon war. He added that the injuries that we see in [Al] Shifa [Hospital] now, many of them I suspect and we all suspect are the effect of DIME weapons used by the Israelis.
On Monday, John Holmes, the U.N. humanitarian chief said cluster munitions are being used during the conflict in Gaza. Cluster bombs break up on impact and release bomblets which cause extensive devastation by spreading over a large area.
He added that Gazas health system was increasingly precarious as the number of dead and injured continued to swell.
This is, in our view, a humanitarian crisis, said Mr. Holmes.
In mid-October 2006 a team of investigative journalists reported that Israel had been using a new weapon in the Gaza Strip, similar to DIME dense inert metal explosive. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the weapon was launched from drones in the summer of 2006, most of them in July, and led to "abnormally serious" physical injuries. Physicians in the Gaza Strip noted the pattern of wounds they were treating were unusual, with severed legs that showed signs of severe heat at the point of amputation but no metal shrapnel. The American version is still in a testing stage and had not been used on the battlefield at that time. It has not been "declared an illegal weapon", though the weapon was claimed to be "highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment".
Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) is said by the Military to be uniquely suited for Low Collateral Damage, helping the warfighter to prevent the loss of public support and more importantly, the loss of innocent life.. It produces lower pressure but increased impulse in the near field. Far Field damage is reduced (no frags/ impulse rolloff). The lethal footprint can be tuned to precision footprint. Strike Weapon Scaling Tests were completed in August of 2004), and full-scale Mk-82 tests were in the planning stage as of early 2005. DARPA funded RPG defense system feasibility tests in January 2005, which were successful.
Additional Small Diameter Bomb funding would allow the facilities to continue development of a Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) using the Dense Inert Metal Explosive technology integrated into SDB I.
With lawmakers' approval, the dollars would allow AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) to "continue to mature FLM technology. The armament centre would integrate the technology with the SDB I baseline model within the advanced technology demonstration construct and demonstrates utility through a flight test program.