Sunday, September 27, 2020

Israel using new weapons, “firebombs,” in Gaza

By Annelies Verbeek - June 13, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli army] [Gaza] [weaponry]

Palestinians reported Israeli drones dropped 'firebombs’ on the Great Return March in the morning of Friday June 8.

The firebombs set fire to tires that had already been brought to the border; protestors were planning to burn them later in the day. The attack also burnt several tents, locals told Ma’an News.
Palestinian firefighters were quickly able to extinguish the fire.
This is not the first time Israeli airplanes have dropped firebombs over the Great Return March encampments.
On May 14, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, Arabic news sources reported that the Israelis equally tried to burn Gaza protests. Arab48 news reported that firebombs were dropped “on the heads of peaceful protesters.”
On that day, Israeli forces killed 52 protesters as they gathered along the Gaza separation fence to demand the right of return to their ancestral homeland as refugees.
The Israelis have used several new weapons on the Gaza protests, the first of which were tear gas drones first deployed March 30, the first day of the Great Return March.
The tear gas drones are now regularly used in Gaza, and were used for the first time in the West Bank during protests on May 15.
Israeli weapon manufacturer ISPRA advertises the new tear gas drone recently tested on Palestinian protesters on its website.
“This unique and innovative solution, developed by Ispra, allows law enforcement units to react when a barrier or obstacle is separating between the parties,” the website boasts.
Sources on the ground in Gaza also spoke of a new type of bullet, referred to as “butterfly bullets.” This type of ammunition is said to leave very large exit wounds and shatter tissue beyond repair.
However, photos of Israel snipers at the Gaza fence have shown them using AR-15 rifles. These guns shoot 5.56mm bullets.
This is a type of live ammunition that international law only permits in times of war.
5.56mm bullets fragment upon impact. American news website BGR investigated the effects of 5.56mm live rounds after an attacker shot and killed 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando in 2016, using this type of ammunition.
Their research points out that 5.56mm live rounds can leave exit wounds “the size of an orange” and disintegrate “several inches of bone.”
This renders it possible that the Israelis have not been using a new type of “butterfly bullets,” but an already existing type of war ammunition, that is prohibited to be used against civilians.
With regards to Israel burning Palestinian encampments in Gaza, Palestinians have attempted to engage in comparable tactics, despite their limited resources.
Protesters in Gaza have been attaching burning material to kites, directing them to the Israeli side to burn fields on the other side of the fence.
The burning kites have been a hot topic in the Israeli media, with Israeli newspapers such as the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post, referring to the improvised weapons as “terror kites.”

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