Israel firing experimental weapons at Gaza’s civilians, say doctors

Staff at al-Shifa Hospital treat a victim of Israel’s current attack on Gaza. 

Basel Yazouri ActiveStills

Doctors treating patients in Gaza have accused Israel of using experimental weapons on Palestinian civilians.

Addressing reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Youssef Abul Resh, undersecretary of the health ministry in Gaza, said, “Medical teams have registered injuries consistent with those caused by DIME [dense inert metal explosives] and other banned weapons.” 

He added, “Israel has mercilessly targeted Palestinian civilians, leaving many of them with life-threatening injuries and future handicaps.” 

In the last week, Israeli airstrikes have killed more than 190 people, eighty percent of them civilians, including at least 34 children

Using Gaza as a laboratory

DIME munitions were developed by the US Air Force in 2006 and have since been tested repeatedly on the people of Gaza, who have long served as involuntary lab rats for Israel’s weapons industry. 

DIME bombs contain tungsten, a cancer-causing metal that helps to produce incredibly destructive blasts which slice through flesh and bone, often decapitating the lower limbs of people within the blast radius.

Renowned Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who witnessed the horrific injuries caused by DIME bombs during Israel’s 2009 Gaza onslaught, told The Electronic Intifada over the phone from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City that patients are showing up with DIME-related injuries. 

“A good number of the injuries seen here are consistent with the use of dense inert metal explosives, or DIME, that we saw during the 2009 attack and also in 2006,” said Gilbert. “The bodies are pretty much destroyed by enormous energy released by the explosives that are shot near them or at them.”

Gilbert first witnessed the effects of DIME munitions on the human body during Operation Summer Rains, Israel’s 2006 months-long attack on the Gaza Strip that killed more than four hundred Palestinians. “Large chunks of flesh, of muscles were cut away. We didn’t find any shrapnel and [the wounds] were delivering a strange fume. Gradually we came to understand these must have been the new DIME weapons developed by the US Air Force together with the Israelis,” he said.

The experimental weapon was used on a larger scale during Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, which killed 1,400 Palestinians, including 352 children

“We had a large number of patients who came in with these horrendous injuries where arms and legs were cut off as though a huge axe had chopped off their limbs with a direct immense force, cutting through skin, muscles and bones. Bones would be shattered and completely cut off,” Gilbert recounted.  “In addition we saw very, very destructive burns coming from some extreme temperature that turned skin, muscle and even bones into charcoal.”

Gilbert said that governments around the world should send forensic experts to Gaza to “analyze the tissue samples from the wounds of the injured and analyze more thoroughly those who are killed,” as well as scientists to follow up with those who have survived DIME blasts. Those survivors have an extremely high risk of developing cancer, Gilbert fears. 

But Gilbert warned that focusing on the DIME weapons, which are not explicity banned under international law, risks distracting from Israel’s far more damaging crimes against the people of Gaza.

“The siege and the constant bombing of civilian targets — those two issues are much more important than if [the Israelis] choose to use a traditional shell with a grenade or a DIME weapon,” he argued.

Dire shortages

In early July, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, released a report authored by Gilbert which details the fragile state of Gaza’s health sector, crushed under the weight of extreme medical supply shortages as a result of Israel’s ongoing illegal siege. 

With Israel’s latest assault flooding Gaza’s already overwhelmed medical facilities with scores of life-threatening injuries, the situation has deteriorated even further, forcing Gaza’s health ministry to declare a state of emergency

The only thing preventing Gaza from total collapse, according to Gilbert, is the dedication of doctors, nurses and first responders, who are currently working without pay. 

“One of the most important deficiencies in Shifa hospital right now is money to pay the hospital staff their salaries. They have not had a normal salary for one year now and for the past three months, since April, they have not received a single nickel in salary and prior to that they had fifty percent salaries for eight months,” he said. “That is really an illustration of their extremely high working morale and their consistent energy to put up with the most intense hardship in order to support the people and treat their wounded. It’s nothing short of heroic.”

Scarred for life

The rising death toll in Gaza has largely reduced the estimated 1,200 people wounded to an afterthought. But many of their injuries are disabling and will scar them for life. 

Among the most debilitating injuries Gilbert has seen are amputations. He also described fractures and severe head injuries, especially among children rescued from beneath the rubble of their collapsed homes.

“When they bomb these buildings the roofs collapse and the buildings collapse on the children and they get fractures and head injuries, which are extremely serious,” Gilbert explained. “We have a five-year-old who is now in critical condition with a serious head injury from an Israeli rocket hitting the neighbor’s house and it took down the whole ceiling in his bedroom. Many of these children will be marked for life by their injuries.” 

“As a doctor, my prescription is very clear. Number one, stop the bombing, and that means stop Israel from bombing civilians and indiscriminately hitting families. Number two, lift the siege. And number three, find a political solution,” said Gilbert.

“And at the core of the political solution is equity and justice for the Palestinian people to be treated in an equal way as all other human beings protected by international law with UN security, dignity and the right to live their lives in peace.”




Is this for real? About the DIME experimental weapon?? How much more cruelty can they be on another human... God help and safe the palestine people...


do you really think its real?! the IDF is to MOST humanitarian army, with no reason to hurt innocents. what did you expect to read in a website that called "electronic intifada"?!
just lies..


Yes it is. Sorry but I saw a photo two days ago that a man held his leg which was cut from his body in Gaza. I have seen people with regular bomb sharpnel in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. It seemed weird to me that a sharpnel could not do that.


I am very confident with Rania's capability as a journalist. Hence, i believe her article. It's really sad that peace is so impossible to reach at this stage of conflicts.


Eh the most humanitarian army!!!! Dont make me laugh. Have you heard of "breaking the silence" the near 1000 former idf soldiers who have come forward admitting the beat young palestinians have army dogs eat food from their genitals and from the top of their head in order to force confessions for crimes they did not commit. Not to mention murder children for merely throwing stones. Either you are deranged or are just spreading more bullshit propaganda. These admissions are coming from idf soldiers who are carrying out orders from the top


some1, I guess you're writing this reply to the article in your very own hasbara (Israeli propaganda agency) war room typing out your blatant deflection of reality whilst sipping your mocachino and munching down on a croissant - and getting paid to write lies and confuse people who are not aware of the conflict.

Your B.S tactics of deflecting the reality of the complete inhumane conduct of the IDF and Israeli government are absolutely going to waste on this site. Electronic Intifada takes a lot of time to seek the truth about the conflict, this isnt FOX NEWS, BBC, ITV, CNN.... blah blah blah paid propaganda network. This is where people come to seek the truth about the conflict, and as you are so clearly blind to the realities, I suggest you either read up and inform yourself or buzz off.


Humanitarian army? Don't know on what planet you've been living on, but on this planet they are nothing but humanitarian. They bring only death and terror! They should brought to court for warcrimes and crimes against humanity.


IDF most humanitarian army? Are you kidding me?

Like when they used white phosphorus in 2008? Or when they slaughtered helpless animals in an unoccupied (by people) Palestinian zoo.

You would do better to declare that up is down, left is right, and so on.


Just lies..? I suggest you read it again.. Doctors have observed it I don't think they take sides but only tell what they truly see, next to that offering experts to examine the samples. Pretty convincing enough.


Dime is designed to limit collateral damage. Read up about it. It is better than using conventional weapons.


DIME is dense inert metal explosives, an experimental weapon developed by the US Air Force in 2006 and never used by the US because it was deemed to inhumane. It has an incredible destructive force that literally cuts people into pieces, amputating limbs, decapitating. It is a horrific weapon. It contains tungsten, a cancer causing agent. Israel is also using white phosphorus, as they did in 2008, which literally burns human flesh to the bone.


Limited collateral damage means limited property damage with maximum human carnage. Read up on it.


It's use? to try to reduce minimal collateral damage, yes it's experimental. Tungsten is a heavy metal that can cause cancer. Hamas has placed targets in schools, Hospitals and residental areas. Killing is wrong period both have blood on their hands that won't ever wash off! DIME Bombs can contain uranium or plutonium.


The claim that Hamas has placed targets in schools, hospitals and residential areas are lies and easily refuted by the testimony of the doctors and journalists working in Gaza. Go on the 'Breaking Silence' website where IDF soldiers categorically state that it is 'they' who use the Palestinians as human shields and targets. It is also very easy for the Israelis to suspiciously place arms cache in UNWRA designated schools and use it as a pretext to bomb these places after all the MOSSAD is master of deception. You do realize that the Gaza strip is very narrow piece of densely populated land where everyone is plied on top of each other, where there is no place to run or hide.


Recommend the film The Lab, which documents in terrible detail the Israel arms industry and how its weapons are "field tested." The celebration of high tech weapons is set, at one point, to the John Lennon song "Imagine."


It's horrifying to think that human beings would use such a weapon against other human beings. Those of us who are American need to forward this to our Senators and Representatives and to the White House. We need to forward this information to the news outlets. I hate that my tax dollars are paying for this horror show.


I have seen that Dr. Erik Fosse has been at Shifa in Gaza since last Friday. Can you confirm that Dr Gilbert is also there, or was the phone call actually with Dr Fosse ? ( I am asking because I need to guarantee correct information on my blog, which some in French-speaking Switzerland lose o opportunity to criticize !)


This is again a truly disgusting case of western hypocrisy. Here in North America, we were taught about WWII and how the Germans used mustard gas on the Allies. We learn what kind of disgusting and lowly kind of human beings resorted to using chemical weaponry. But alas, they did so on men, on soldiers and the world went in an uproar. The Israelis are using far worse chemical weapons on helpless children and women, and the whole world is silent. I suppose whilst the US teaches us history, they themselves learned a different lesson: to develop more of these weapons and be the kind of people that learned nothing from their history. I wonder what those who died against the Germans by chemical weaponry would say to this and what those who died in the holocaust would say to the genocide of Muslims in Gaza. History is being repeated but the world does not care, nor do any of the governments.


► This how Palestine country hidden from map

_____________ Learn the purpose of your life in this world __________________

►Chapter 06
32. The life of this world is nothing but game and distraction, but the Home of the Hereafter is better for those who are righteous. Do you not understand?
► chapter 67 verse 02
2. He who created death and life-to test you-as to which of you is better in conduct. He is the Almighty, the Forgiving.
I sorry if i hurt or offen anyone with message.


That is the most popular doktor in all of north Norway. He is a doktor at Tromsoe hospital. And this must be his second or 3 time in Gaza. And he is telling you wath he sees. So how can you not belive him... I have read an artikel he made in a paper here in his hometown. And i do not understand how people ca qeustion him. I know it is true wath he says. In no doubt. There is an many year old war going on. And Gaza is crying for help. They are simply saying that we are going to need help. Theyr infrastructur is destroyd by war. It is a country that is broke. And everyone knows a broke country can not function. Thats why they are sending rockets. To cry for help. The Country is desperat. An invasion would actually help them out of this. Try understand. Try reading as much as you can. And you will be rewarded with knowledge.


It is time that a flotilla of ships - say 100 - of 2000 tons each alight on Gazga's coast with the required supplies. There is no way the Israel could stop them without total outrage!!!

Rania Khalek

Rania Khalek's picture

Rania Khalek is an independent journalist reporting on the underclass and marginalized.