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Jul-07-2011 04:45printcommentsVideo

Plastic isn't Fantastic When Used as Invisible Shrapnel

You wouldn't believe what is killing and maiming people in Palestine.

Qudih family in Gaza
Qudih family in Gaza
Photo by Ken O'Keefe

(SALEM, Ore.) - This article is about war-related issues in Palestine that are missing the radar in western newsrooms. I am referring to the use of plastic shards intentionally placed in rockets that leave behind undetectable shrapnel in humans, munitions that puzzled doctors because they amputate human limbs by heat, and the massive killings of Palestinian farm animals and wildlife through the use of Israeli-manufactured tablets deposited on Palestinian land.

It is interesting in light of news items like this, that Israel continues to call the defenseless Palestinian masses, "terrorists".

With the exception of the Seattle PI which attained permission from us to carry a report that revealed the plastic shrapnel, I would suspect that almost no 'mainstream media' as we refer to the U.S. TV networks, daily newspapers and AM radio talk shows, carried any of this information. However, an Israeli blog provides the information we now have on the latter two items.

Those who find this puzzling should understand that some of our best allies in this ongoing effort to raise awareness of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, are our Jewish friends and fellow resistance activists in Israel.

The fact that the information is widely published by Israeli media in English, in itself proves that the information is out there at all times but overlooked, and that the U.S. networks which almost exclusively treat stories about tragedy in Palestine with disregard, have no excuses for their continual pro-Israel version of the news.

This is important to bear in mind as you digest this information. With regard to the labeling of resistance fighters in Palestine as terrorists, it is a statistically documented fact that the situation is exactly the opposite of how it is projected. Israel has and continues to function in the role of 'terrorist' toward Palestinian people, according to the definition provided by any dictionary.

Definition of TERRORISM the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

ter·ror·ist; adjective or noun
ter·ror·is·tic adjective
(Merriam Webster)


First, we tell people about Israel's apartheid laws that regulate and punish Jews and non-Jews under totally different rules and standards. There are actually "Jew only" roads in Israel. We explain the real expression of Zionism to westerners raised to believe that Israel is exclusively good by nature. Zionism is the belief that Jews' have a right of return to the 'Holy Land', in this case Palestine, which they have done, leaving only a small amount of land that is not officially 'Israel'.

Since 1947, Israel has been plowing down (literally) Palestinian villages and planting 'settlements' that are Jewish only communities specifically constructed to absorb land that has existed in the hands of Palestinian families for years.

If this isn't getting the point across, we explain how Israeli snipers shoot and frequently kill Palestinian farmers from guard towers that surround all of Palestine. This is highly documented and the actions have been viewed by millions on YouTube.

We explain how Gaza fishermen are constantly being shot at and attacked by Israeli patrol boats. It is all cruel and unnecessary, yet it achieves Israel's apparent goal of reducing any chances for the Palestinians to earn a living.

Israeli soldiers even shoot kids who collect rocks used to crush into concrete, and rebuild the endless list of homes that Israel destroys.

It isn't just Operation Cast Lead that we are talking about. That highly planned precision military attack left almost 1500 dead, and thousands and thousands seriously injured. We're talking about what Israel does every day in Gaza.

Definition of SHRAPNEL

1: a projectile that consists of a case provided with a powder
charge and a large number of usually lead balls and that is
exploded in flight
2: bomb, mine, or shell fragments

Examples of SHRAPNEL

* He has a piece of shrapnel in his leg.
* Shrapnel from the explosion wounded many people.

Origin of SHRAPNEL

Henry Shrapnel †1842 English artillery officer
First Known Use: 1806
(Merriam Webster)
In examining the record, compared to the way other nation's crimes have been regarded in the past, such as Yugoslavia, there is no accountability for any of this, unless the Israelis kill a westerner.

In that event, as we saw with the death of a young Englishman named Tom Hurndall, a family with sufficient resources can make a with the Israeli government, but what a difficult thing it was for them, and even in the end the punishment for the death of this young man of high ideals, was a slap on the wrist; a minor jail sentence.

Israel made the Hurndall's quest as difficult as possible, refusing at times to meet with the family, failing to properly investigate Tom's death, etc. Still, that is the most extensive bout of accountability that I know of over Israel's wanton murder that began with Israel itself. (see: The Shooting of Tom Hurndall on

In explaining how the Palestinians didn't have anything to do with the Holocaust, we talk about how Jews and Muslims and Christians lived in relative peace in the area together for the last several hundred years, with Muslims as the majority population, with no war or bloodshed. That all changed with the establishment of Israel and that, is the 'brainchild' of a man named Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern day Israel. He was, prior to the Zionist movement, an openly declared antisemite.

These are the basics.

Israel's Shield from War Crimes in the UN

Read: UN Extends Goldstone Investigation of Israel for Gaza War
learn more about the shielding of Israel from War Crime
prosecutions in the United Nations, and why there is no accountability.

At the root of the problem is Israel's absolute, rock-solid, 'take it to the bank' knowledge that regardless of any crimes it commits, Genocide, apartheid or otherwise; the United States government will offer protection.

Time after time, the U.S. has used special veto power in the United Nations to shield Israel from war crimes prosecution. This too is a fact, not a theory, and there are two recent significant events; one is the 2008/2009 Cast Lead attack, and the other is last year's deadly assault on the Freedom Flotilla ship Mavi Marmara which left nine unarmed Gaza activists dead from gunshot wounds, and several dozen more badly injured.

Israel portrayed the people it attacked as terrorists, as expected, when there was never any real evidence to support the allegation. Israel justified its deadly behavior; killing nine human beings, and denying the wounded medical treatment, because they resisted the boarding in open ocean waters, with lead pipes and slingshots. People believe it.

If people adamantly believe that this type of approach used by Israel is justified, then there is little one can do to convince them their belief is not true. However, the plain reality is that no quarter has been given to the people of Palestine who suffer at Israel's hand. Israel is obviously incapable of policing its own behavior, and that means intervention is required by a higher body such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately this entity is powerless as long as U.S. government keeps it that way.

UN countries that do not want to see the United Nations investigate extremely clear
and well documented evidence of war crimes against Israel are:

  1. Canada
  2. Israel
  3. Federated States of Micronesia
  4. Nauru
  5. Panama
  6. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  7. United States

Guilty or not guilty, until Israel's leaders suspected of the darkest of crimes against humanity are tried in a court of justice, they will go on believing they are above prosecution and that their existence, due to the plight of their ancestors, allows them to exist above international law.

Plastic Shrapnel

First image shows rocket's deadly guts deposited on the family property.

Working in Gaza with Bassam Elmassri, Mousheera Jammal and Noor Assan, as interpreters, our Correspondent Ken O'Keefe, visited a Palestinian home shortly after it was targeted and attacked by Israel last February.

Even though the rocket that killed and severely wounded several female members of this family was manufactured in the USA, and in spite of the fact that Ken himself was born and raised in America, this family, those left, welcomed both Ken and his camera and his friends.

They shared in depth, a tragic story. Ken said at the times that they were willing to talk because they believed it would make a difference.

The rocket came when the men were at prayer. Only women were home and were killed and maimed. One of the daughters of Ebrahim Qudih, was preparing to get married. The women were picking out designs for the special ceremony which would never happen.

Framing the incredible video that Ken produced and quickly delivered from Gaza via YouTube, Bonnie King wrote about this egregious attack on the Qudih family, 29 April 2011, in the article, 'Israeli Drone War Crimes Exposed'


It began with air strikes on April 7, when five Palestinians were killed in raids hitting targets that the Israeli military described as 'positions where projectiles had been fired from'.

Two women and an elderly man were killed in separate strikes near Khan Younis, and two unidentified men were killed near Gaza City.

The two women were a mother and daughter, who were sitting in their back yard, planning details of the girl's upcoming wedding. Three younger sisters were there also, and they had all spent the day baking bread and preparing for the big event.

The men of the family were away, attending Friday prayers.

Suddenly, and without warning, an Israeli rocket exploded between the women, killing them both. One sister was seriously injured and remains hospitalized, in a coma.

The youngest daughter, five years old, was far enough from the blast to remain uninjured, but unfortunately she was first on scene. First to see her dead family members. She and her older sister, and all of the remaining family are suffering from PTSD.

To read the article by Bonnie King, visit:

This is the plastic that the rockets send flying into people;
doctors are unable to find it and we're told people are dying due to
this specific use of 'x-ray proof' plastic shrapnel.

Seemingly accepting of this military brutality as a fact of life, father Ebrahim Qudih asked, "Why this family... why this house?"

"If I don't have safety in my house, where can I find it?"

"How do they (pointing to photo of daughters) make any danger to Israel?" Mr. Qudih added.

The rocket attack would strike most human beings as a reprehensible method for dealing with national security in the first place; annihilating family homes, etc. To object to this is not a criticism of religion, it is simply to decry the behavior. Israel supporters typically reply with, "Well they are terrorists, or connected to terrorists, it was their choice", and this thinking, most of humanity would firmly and unequivocally reject.

Fathi Qudih, Ebrahim's brother, explained that the tragedy is beyond description, and his niece was left in a coma with terrible injuries. In regard to this event, officially asked questions of the Israeli Defence Forces that they failed to address with any satisfactory answers.

The IDF's claim the home of this family was tied to Hamas. It was not, but God help us all for any nation's tolerance of Israel's in-your-face war crimes that are not allegations but hard, deadly facts. Attacking a family home with only the women home?

Hamas is not a terrorist organization anyway, that is a phrase of convenience for western and Israeli governments that are thus able to dis involve Palestinians from any real representation in Gaza. As an organization, Hamas has committed far less terror and claimed a minuscule fraction of the lives Israel has snuffed out in their quest for an exclusive Jewish state.

Qudih family daughter who was severely injured in the rocket attack on their home. Here, weeks
after the attack, she is still in a coma. We are seeking contact from Gaza doctors who can tell us more
about these terrible plastic shrapnel injuries.

Translating the words of this grief-stricken family, Bassam Elmassri learned about the shadowy side of Israel's munitions. Manufactured in the USA, the rocket that struck the Qudih family home, contained the usual deadly ingredients, but also something that doctors in Gaza are reported to be seeing more of: undetectable plastic shrapnel that becomes embedded in the flesh of these victims.

Bassam Elmassri explained:

"Small pieces come out from the rocket, it's like plastic pieces because when they take the injured people to the hospital to do the x-ray on them, it's not working. So they can die, because this makes it more difficult to remove the pieces from the body. The plastic pieces are not seen on the x-ray".

I have been in contact with doctors in Gaza before and that is one present goal, I encourage anyone reading this who is familiar with plastic shrapnel or has contact information to medical crews in Gaza, to write and share what they know. It is imperative that this is researched and exposed so that doctors can at least treat civilian victims injuries in a reasonable way. (Write to:

Asking for metal shrapnel instead of plastic seems the strangest request, no more bombs would obviously be a preferable scenario; but anyone in the chain of command responsible for this inhumane choice should be investigated for possible war crime violations. It seems clear that the plastic is seeing its intended purpose, this should not be deemed an acceptable practice.

Amputation by Severe Heat?

This information comes from the Website Palestine Outcry. It is the intro to the story, First, Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)

In mid-October 2006 a team of investigative journalists at RAI Italian television reported that Israel had been using a new weapon in the Gaza Strip, similar to DIME – dense inert metal explosive. The report was produced by the same journalists who claimed without foundation that the US used White Phosphorus (WP) against civilians during attacks on Fallujah. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the weapon was launched from drones in the summer of 2006, most of them in July, and led to "abnormally serious" physical injuries. Physicians in the Gaza Strip noted the pattern of wounds they were treating were unusual, with severed legs that showed signs of severe heat at the point of amputation but no metal shrapnel. The American version is still in a testing stage and had not been used on the battlefield at that time. It has not been "declared an illegal weapon", though the weapon was claimed [without described basis] to be "highly carcinogenic and harmful to the environment".

Keep reading this article at: in Jerusalem.

Many of us who try to raise awareness about Palestine have what you might define as a love-hate relationship with Ha'aretz, the Israeli newspaper. Some of their writers are the best people I know of, and yet some might as well work for the public affairs agency Jerusalem Post that works steadfastly in the interest of Israeli policy. That is one of the numerous groups that carried the following piece of information, however I drew the information from the Israeli Palestine Outcry Website.

The following is an excerpt from the story, Pollution, Apartheid and Protest in Occupied Palestine by: Ethan Ganor

Israel's much-touted "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip, while proof that decolonization is possible, is also a smokescreen, distracting attention from the escalation of violence in the West Bank. Fully chronicling the current devastation in Palestine could fill several volumes; what follows is only a few snapshots.

In late March, shepherds from Tuwani and Mufakara Palestinian villages near Hebron in the southern Wesl Bank, discovered strange, blue pellets littering their grazing fields. Suspecting these seeds as a possible cause of the mysterious deaths of dozens of goats and sheep during the previous week, villagers had them analyzed. The tests confirmed their hunch: The pellets were barley laced with fluoroacetamide, a rodenticide produced only in Israel and illegal in many other countries due to its acute toxicity.

Not just livestock, but also wild gazelles, migratory birds, snakes and other animals had been poisoned. Palestinian farmers were forced to quarantine their flocks and stop selling or using their milk, cheese and meat. On April 8, a new poison—pink pellets tainted by brodifacoum, another highly toxic, anti-coagulant rodenticide—was found at a hillside grazing area near Tuwani. Later that month, Amnesty International issued a press release condemning Israeli authorities for failing to clean up the toxic chemicals from affected areas and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Local Palestinians blame Israeli settlers from nearby Maon and Havat Maon, two small outposts south of Hebron, whose male members are notorious for assaulting Tuwani children as they walk past the settlements to school. Solidarity activists videotaped one Maon security official admitting that he knew that Havat Maon settlers had planted the poisons.

Despite this admission, no arrests were made, and the poisoning has spread. In mid-April, in Yasouf, a Palestinian village south of Nablus, in the northern West Bank, large quantities of wheat seeds boiled in brodifacoum were found.

While such poisonings may seem to be isolated attacks by rogue settlers, other forms of pollution in the West Bank are systemic and permanent. The landscape is blotched with Israeli factories. Based mainly on hilltops at Israeli settlements and border-area industrial zones, the factories manufacture products ranging from aluminum, plastic and fiberglass to batteries, detergents, pesticides and military items.

Read the entire article here:

If anyone has information about these events which date back to 2005 relating to animal poisonings and the high heat projectiles causing amputations, or the use of undetectable plastic shrapnel, please contact our newsroom.


Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 93 writers in more that 20 countries. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: Another way to reach Tim is by leaving a comment on any story, specify 'message to Tim'

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Rachel Golem July 10, 2011 3:19 pm (Pacific time)

Laughing when Syrian people kill each other is NOT Anti-Semitism!!!!

Editor: Rachel, as if I don't know better than to take your comments seriously... what are you talking about?

Anonymous July 9, 2011 11:16 am (Pacific time)

If you have time to look into this Tim, I am kinda slammed this week. I can get to it later if your schedule is as busy as mine right now. Not sure if its urgent tho. thanks.

Maria Ramerriz July 7, 2011 6:24 pm (Pacific time)

It is time to drag Israel to war crimes court, any cost, any method, get it done, no mercy for the merciless

Anonymous July 7, 2011 5:11 pm (Pacific time)

I don't have the information you seek, but I agree it is extremely important to learn more about this. Be sure to report your findings to the UNHCR, not just the public, thank you.

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