Dr. Barghouthi: Israel “Violating Every International Law” With Use of Weapons
The Israeli army is using very dangerous weapons, which can be
lethal, to disperse demonstrators who are just demonstrating. The rules
of engagement that the Israeli army is using against Palestinian
demonstrators simply violate every international law.
First of all, Israeli forces use high velocity bullets, which have
already caused at least 300 injuries and taken the lives of many people.
Second, they use what they call “rubber bullets,” but these are not
rubber bullets at all; it’s a misconception or misrepresentation to call
There are two types of rubber bullets. One is a cylinder, but inside
it you have a very heavy metal. Usually when it is shot from a close
distance it penetrates the body and frequently it penetrates the brain
and becomes fatal.
It is also very dangerous when it hits the eye. Many Palestinians have lost eyes because of these kinds of bullets.
The other type of bullet they call “rubber” is not rubber at all but
a very heavy shard, and this shard is covered with a very thin piece of
plastic. Again, this is very dangerous and responsible for very serious
injuries and it is misleading to keep saying that it is “rubber.”
Third, recently, Israeli forces started using this kind of bullet in
a big quantity, they are heavy metallic bullets which are usually used
against animals, but now they are using them against Palestinians.
You have what they call 0.22 bullets. The 0.22 bullet is a very small bullet, but it’s very dangerous because when it hits a vital organ or a major vein it can cause bleeding to death.
The so-called 0.22 bullet is used by snipers and it has been
responsible for the death and injury of many people. Even B’Tselem, the
Israeli human rights organisation, issued a statement saying that their use is illegal.
Then you have the sponge, and the sponge is dangerous because it has
taken away already 13 eyes, including 7 children who lost their eyes.
They also use tear gas bombs, and they throw them in very big
quantities, creating what we call “closed room effect”, which could kill
people because of suffocation.
We have already lost three women in previous years because of tear
gas, they suffocated from tear gas. Sometimes Israeli forces fire up to
50 tear gas bombs at once and that can also have long term effects.
When you throw tear gas to disperse the crowd you throw one, two, three tear gas bombs, not fifty.
Tear gas is also very dangerous because it is a chemical and we
don’t know the long term effects of using such chemicals. Many people
including myself have had serious bronchitis and laryngitis because of
this. We think that long term and repeated exposure could be risky to
Some neighbourhoods like Al-Aida camp in Bethlehem are very close to
confrontation areas and are routinely exposed to tear gas, so children,
families, everyone breathes in tear gas around the clock. The furniture
is full of it, the walls, the beds, everything.
Then they use stun grenades, and stun grenades are dangerous
especially when they are thrown directly at people. Many people have had
severe injuries because they have had stun grenades thrown at them
directly, and when they explode they can cause serious injuries. Some
people have lot their hearing because of stun grenades.
Tear gas bombs also, the metallic ones are especially dangerous
because sometimes the army uses them as bullets in the sense that they
direct them at someone. One of the guys who died from this, his heart
stopped beating when the tear gas bomb hit him.
You should not shoot people when they are very far from you and when
they present no risk to you. They start shooting when they see people
in the distance.
See original publication here: Palestine Monitor (PM)