Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Human consequences of using white phosphorus: An example in Gaza

Blind and burnt: Mahmoud, 14, young victim of banned white phosphorus shelling
Israel's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip may be over but Mahmoud Mattar, 14, will not be able to sense the quiet that has descended on his home town of Jabalya.

Blinded in both eyes, with third-degree burns over much of his torso, Mahmoud lies unconscious in the Sheikh Zayid Hospital on the outskirts of Cairo. He has said little since January 6, when an Israeli attack on his village in northern Gaza left him nearly dead on the street outside his mosque. Doctors say that he will never see again — and that the burns on his body were caused by white phosphorus, a controversial incendiary weapon that Israel originally denied using.

“He was walking to the mosque when the attack started,” his uncle, Nahad Mattar, said. “Two of his friends who were walking with him were killed instantly. Their bodies are in pieces. He was hit by something and his body began to burn.

“There were bits of blood and skin all over him. We couldn't tell what was his and what was other people.”
h/t Chris Floyd

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