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May 11, 2010

What Really Happened in Deir-Yassin ?

Assembled, translated & edited by Shimon Tzabar

The political and Military Background in Palestine in 1948:

The British left Palestine on the 15th of May 1948. Until that time there was no Israeli government, and no Israeli Army. Until that time, the Jewish military force consisted of three independent groups: The larger one was the Hagana. Within the Hagana there was a strike force known as the Palmah. Outside Hagana there were two more independent smaller forces. The biggest of the two was Etzel, which was the underground terrorist organisation of the opposition party led by Menahem Begin, and the smaller one was Lehi, known also as the Stern Gang, a splinter group which separated from the Etzel a few years previously.

There are many versions of what happened in Deir Yassin on the 9th of April 1948. Some of these versions are propaganda pieces, some of which will be dealt with later on. I wanted to find an Israeli version from a reliable eye-witness, if something like that existed. I sifted through the Israeli Hebrew press for many years until I found something that sounded more or less reliable. I say more or less, because this account is also biased (as we shall see). The account I found was a report done by Dr. Me’ir Pa’ill who is today a member of the Knesset representing the Meretz party. Fifty three years ago however, in April 1948, he was known as Colonel Me’ir Pilavski, a liaison officer representing the Palmah in the headquarters of the Hagana in Jerusalem.

The story of Colonel Me’ir Pilavski appeared in an interview which he gave to Ron Maiberg. The interview was published in the magazine Monitin, no. 32, April 1981, page 36.

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Join Us at the Launch to Gaza

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29205195@N02/

When: Wednesday, May 12

Where: Dundalk Docks, 40 Quay Street, Dundalk, Ireland

10:00-11:00 come to the ship and be introduced to the MV Rachel Corrie and the organizers, donors and high profile passengers.

11:00-12:00 We will christen her with a bottle of Palestinian olive oil as a celebration of Palestinian land rights, and international solidarity for justice and peace.

12:00-16:00 Tours of the ship will be available for the media. Organizers and supporters will be available for interviews

18:00-22:00 Farewell gathering and launch to Gaza of the MV Rachel Corrie

Available for interviews throughout the day are ITF Inspector and Union organizer, Ken Fleming, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Denis Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Matthias Chang, The Perdana Global Peace Organisation from Malaysia , Aengus.O’Snodaigh, Sinn Fein TD, plus representatives from other partner organizations in the Freedom Flotilla.

Freedom Flotilla partners are IHH (Turkish human rights organisation), European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG), The Perdana Global Peace Organisation from Malaysia, and the Greek and Irish Ship to Gaza campaigns and the International Coalition for Lifting the Siege on Gaza.

Contact:

Greta Berlin: 00353 851302199

Caoimhe Butterly: 00353 876114 553

Ewa Jasiewicz: 00353 851301216

Fintan Lane: 00353 87 1258325

Niamh Moloughney 00353 857747257

New weapons experimented in Gaza : population risks genetic mutations

mardi 11 mai 2010, par La Rédaction

Biopsies from 32 victims conducted at three universities : Rome (Italy), Chalmer (Sweden) and Beirut (Lebanon)

Toxic and carcinogenic metals, able to produce genetic mutations, have been found in the tissues of people wounded in Gaza during Israeli military operations of 2006 and 2009.

The research has been carried out on biopsies from wounds provoked by weapons that do not leave fragments, a peculiarity of weapons utilized in Gaza that was pointed out repeatedly by doctors and that shows that weapons whose long term effects are still to be assessed were used.

The researchers compared the quantity in 32 elements present in the tissues through ICP/MS (a type of highly sensitive mass spectrometry). The job, carried out by laboratories in the Universities La Sapienza of Rome (Italy), Chalmer (Sweden) and Beirut (Lebanon), was coordinated by New Weapons Research Group (Nwrg), an independent committee of scientists and experts based in Italy, who is studying the use of unconventional weapons and their mid-term effects on the population of after-war areas.

The relevant presence of toxic and carcinogenic metals founds in the wound tissues points to direct risks for survivors, but also to the possibility of environmental contamination.

Biopsies of tissues were performed by doctors of Shifa hospital, in Gaza city, who selected and classified the type of wounds. Research was conducted on 16 tissue samples belonging to 13 victims. 4 biopsies were taken in june 2006, during operation “Summer Rains”, while the others were taken in the first week of january 2009, during operation “Cast Lead”. All tissues were appropriately preserved and then examined by each of the three universities.

Tissues belong to four types of wound : amputation (marked with “A” in the study), charred (C), burns (B), multiple piercing wounds by white phosphorus (M). The following elements were found in quantities well beyond normal :

. Alluminium, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt, mercury, vanadium, cesium and tin in samples of A and C wounds ;

. Alluminium, titanium, copper, strontium, barium, cobalt and mercury in M wounds ;

. Cobalt, mercury, cesium and tin in B wounds ;

. Lead and uranium in all wound types ;

. Barium, arsenic, manganese, rubidium, cadmium, chromium and zinc in all, but M, wounds ;

. Nickel in A wounds.

Some of these elements are carcinogenic (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and uranium), others are potentially carcinogenic (cobalt and vanadium), others are also fetotoxic (alluminium, mercury, copper, barium, lead and manganese).

The first ones can produce genetic mutations ; the second ones can have the same effect on animals, but they are not proven to do the same on people ; the third ones have toxic effects for people ad can affect either the embryo or the foetus in pregnant women.

All metals found in amounts over the controls have pathogenic effects in human respiratory organs, kidney and skin and affect sexual and neurological development and functions.

“Nobody – says professor Paola Manduca, spokesperson of the New Weapons Research Group, genetics teacher and researcher at the University of Genoa – had never conducted bioptic analysis on tissue samples from wounds.
We concentrate the attention on wounds made by weapons that do not leave fragments, as these were pointed out several times by the doctors in Gaza, and because weapons which do not leave fragments were developed in recent years. We wanted to verify if metals were present which remained in the wound skin and derma.

The use of metals in the weapons utilized in Gaza had been hypothesized, but never demonstrated before. To our surprise, beside finding the metal components of amputating weapons, even the burns provoked by white phosporus contain high amount of metals.

Moreover, the presence of these metals in the weapons implies that they have been dispersed in the environment, in unknown amounts and range. ; they have been inhaled by the victim and by bystanders, thus constituting a risk for survivors and for people that were not directly hit by the bombing.”

This research was preceded by two other studies conducted by Nwrg. The former was published on December 17th 2009 and reported the presence of toxic metals in areas of craters provoked by the Israeli bombing on the Gaza Strip. The second was published on March 17th 2010 and reported the presence of toxic metals in hair samples of Palestinian children of Gaza Strip area hit by Israeli bombings.

Both point to the presence of environmental contamination, aggravated by the living conditions on the ground and often in shelters exposed to wind and dust, due to the impossibility to rebuild housing imposed by the Israeli blockade to the entrance of needed building materials and tools.

May 11th 2010

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