What do you do when you really want to try out some nifty new weaponry that might violate some quaint old treaty, but you don't want to catch the blowback from it?
Easy! You pass it off to an ally and let them use it. There are some indications that Israel may have used experimental weapons in Gaza.
More on the flip...
Mid-East media have been reporting for the past week or so of the unusual civilian wounds that resulted from Israel's incursion into Gaza. Physicians report civilians admitted with limbs charred right through to the bone; of severe internal organ damage with no shrapnel present. Until today these reports have been limited to some Palestinian sources and Al Jazeera which, while they do report from a different perspective also tend to be a little, well, overdramatic at times.
Today, however, the Christian Science Monitor, to my mind is a more reliable source, is reporting this information as a lead from the Italian news service:
reports by Gaza-based doctors of inexplicable injuries: an exceptionally large number of wounded who have lost legs, severe burns, and injuries unaccompanied by metal shrapnel that comes from a conventional bomb. Some of the doctors also claimed that they removed particles from wounds that could not be seen in an x-ray machine.
Israel, of course, denies this:
With regard to allegations of the use of Dime weaponry, the Israel Defence Forces deny the possession or use of such weapons," it said.
"In addition it should be emphasized that the IDF only uses weapons in accordance with international law." Some Israeli military experts have also dismissed the suggestion that a Dime weapon is involved.
These tactics, in addition to the reported use of cluster bombs (which Israel also denies) in the Gaza offensive, could be construed as war crimes, particularly when it comes to using experimental weapons in urban settings. So far, none of this has been conclusively proved; however, we do know a few things beyond doubt:
* The US is a significant provider of weapons to Israel, including most of their advanced weapons systems.
* The Pentagon invests billions annually in novel weapons systems and looks for opportunities to test them.
* There has already been enough international outcry about our use of phosphorus weapons in Iraq, it is unlikely that anyone in DOD wants to risk getting caught again.
So could Israel have received experimental weapons from us for use against the Palestinians? Sure.
Is there any proof that such a thing has occurred. Hell, no. Who is going to tell?
Would such an act be consistent with previous covert actions? Well, Duh!