Israel uses prohibited shell bullets of last generation against Palestine during the military operation in the Gaza Strip, Norwegian medics say after they had spent ten days in one of the hospitals of the war-torn region. Israeli officials have not released any statement on the matter yet. Some time earlier, the Israeli administration did not confirm the information about the use of the prohibited white phosphorus in the enclave.
The Norwegian medics said that the wounds of some victims, whom they had examined, had been caused with explosions of inert metals. The medics concluded that the Israeli army used up-to-date shell bullets in the Gaza Strip. The injuries, which such bullets cause, are much more serious than those caused by conventional ammunition. They literally rip human flesh out, the Echo of Moscow radio station said.
One of the Norwegian doctors stated that he had never come across anything like this before during 30 years of his work experience in various hot spots of the world. The medic added that the facts should be investigated because international conventions prohibit the use of any shell bullets.
Human Rights Watch activists accused Israel of using another kind of prohibited ammunition – the white phosphorus. The substance can be used for the creation of smokescreens and in fire bombs.
In accordance with the Third Protocol of the Geneva Convention of 1983, the use of phosphorus ammunition against civilians or military objects in settlements is prohibited. However, Israel did not sign the protocol .
In the meantime, the ground operation in the Gaza Strip continues. Israeli troops are reported to have intensified their attacks on Palestinian positions overnight as they fought running battles with Islamic militants and pushed further into Gaza City, RIA Novosti reports.
Israel 's Army press service said that eight soldiers had been wounded, one seriously, in the fighting, which has claimed the lives of 10 Israeli troops and three civilians.
In a rare televised broadcast, Ismail Haniya, one of the leaders of the Hamas movement, which seized control of Gaza in June 2007, said that the fighting would continue, but added that the Islamists were prepared to examine any initiative "to stop the aggression and lift the blockade" on Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, however, Israel would only call a halt to its operations in Gaza if Palestinian militants stopped firing rockets on Israel's southern territories and ceased smuggling arms into the enclave.
The premier said "If these two conditions are met, we will end our operation in Gaza."
Meanwhile, the search for a diplomatic solution is continuing in Cairo where Egyptian authorities are holding parallel talks with the Israelis and Palestinians, RIA Novosti says.
Over 90 non-governmental organizations, most of them are based in France, intend to file a lawsuit at the International Tribunal at The Hague to charge Israel of war crimes, Itar-Tass reports. Spokespeople for the organizations say that Israel’s disproportionate response is to be categorized as a war crime for it lead to numerous victims among the civil population.