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8/8/06
Lebanon: A testing ground for new and more terrible weapons? by Paola Manduca
    
 

pm1magma2@yahoo.com

By now [there] are countless reports, from hospitals, witnesses, armament experts and journalists that strongly suggest that in the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza ‘new weapons’ are being used.

New and strange symptoms are reported in the blessed and [the] dead.

Bodies with dead tissues and no apparent wounds; ‘shrunken’ corpses; civilians with heavy damage to lower limbs that require amputation, which is nevertheless followed by unstoppable necrosis and death; descriptions of extensive internal wounding with no trace of shrapnel, corpses blackened but not burnt, and others heavily wounded that did not bleed.

Many of these description suggest the possibility that the new weapons [are being] used including ‘direct energy’ weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything: international rules (from the Geneva convention to the treaties on biological and chemical weapons), refugees, hospitals and the red cross, not to mention the people, their future, their children, the environment, which is poisoned through dissemination of Depleted Uranium and toxic substances released after oil and chemical depots are bombed.

Right now, the Lebanese and Palestinian people have many urgent and impelling problems, yet many people believe that these episodes cannot and must not pass ignored. In fact several appeals were launched to scientists and experts with the aim of investigating the issue.

With the intent of responding to such appeals, we have set up a team to investigate the testimonies, the images, and possibly the material evidence that delegations and ONG will be able to bring from affected areas. We want to offer support to health institutions of Lebanon and Palestine, which ask constantly for help and external verification and monitoring, and we are examining all materials jet available in order to formulate hypothesis which can be verified or disproved.

We ask for the activation of our (Italian) scientific institutions, and, following the request from medical personnel in the conflict area, we ask that the UN set up a international independent verification and investigation committee, with the possibility to enter the conflict zone, collect material and testimonies directly on the field, and enquire about the claims of the new kind of weapons of mass destruction being used by the Israeli forces.  We request that such investigating teams be set up immediately, and that procedures are defined and implemented that will help future investigations (how to collect and store samples form the different theatres, so that these will preserve important information).

We ask that the international committee have access to all sources, be operative and respect all procedures, including crossed check from different laboratories, and that it reports to the competent authorities, including Human rights tribunal and international courts, if appropriate.

As people and as scientists, we are offering our time and expertise in order to reach knowledge of the facts, in the belief that a perspective of justice, equity and peace among people can be reached only with the respect of the rules defined up to now within the international community of nations for the behavior of the parts in an armed conflict.

We ask that the respect of these rules be verified in the present conflict.

We invite scientists to contribute to this effort offering their specific competences. In particular we seek collaboration of toxicology experts, pharmacologists, anatomy pathologists, doctors with expertise in trauma and burns, chemists.

They can reach the working group at the E-mail address: nuovearmi@gmail.com Paola Manduca Prof. Genetics, University of Genova, Italy

  

  

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