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July 28th, 2006 - Doctors Suspect Chemical Weapons

News article from Reuters

Summary of White Phosphorus Weapons in South Lebanon

Doctors Suspect Chemical Weapons


From Reuters

July 28, 2006


Lebanon is investigating reports from doctors that Israel has used weapons in its bombardment of southern Lebanon that have caused wounds they have never seen before.


"We are sending off samples tomorrow, but we have no confirmation yet that illegal weapons have been used," Health Minister Mohammed Khalife said. The Israeli army said it had used only conventional weapons and ammunition.


The Lebanese killed by Israeli air raids are charred in a way local doctors, who have lived through years of civil war and Israeli occupation, say they have not seen before.


Bachir Cham, a Belgian-Lebanese doctor at the Southern Medical Centre in Sidon, received eight bodies after an Israeli air raid that he said exhibited such wounds. He has taken samples from the bodies to test for what killed them. He believes it is a chemical.


Dr Cham said the bodies of some victims were "black as shoes, so they are definitely using chemical weapons. They are all black but their hair and skin is intact so they are not really burnt If you burnt someone with petrol, their hair would burn and their skin would burn down to the bone. The Israelis are 100 per cent using chemical weapons."


Lebanese President Emile Lahoud has repeatedly accused Israel of using phosphorous bombs in its offensive.


Human Rights Watch, which has accused Israel of using cluster bombs in populated areas of southern Lebanon, said it had not verified claims that Israel had used phosphorus. "We are seeing abnormal burns, different from wars we've seen in the past," it said.


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