War remnants in Gaza: Evidence of US link in killing civilians

Large quantities of Israeli war remnants scattered throughout Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip

12:08 - 19/05/2024 Sunday
File Photo
File Photo

In every corner of the city of Khan Younis, which was destroyed by the Israeli army during the ongoing military operations, remnants of shells and empty or unexploded missiles are scattered.

They were used by the army to bomb entire civilian neighborhoods, most of which bear markings that confirm their US origin.

Anadolu has captured images of the military remnants in dozens of areas among residential neighborhoods in Khan Younis, which before being invaded by Israeli forces and destroyed, were densely populated with residents.

- US weapons in residential areas

As life returns to Khan Younis, especially with the beginning of the Israeli military operation in Rafah just days ago that has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands in that city and central areas of the enclave, there are more signs of the destruction caused by airstrikes in Khan Younis.

As boxes and remnants of shells and missiles left behind by Israeli soldiers after leaving Khan Younis, it has become clear that the majority are US-made munitions, as indicated by writings in English on the packages.

In one area with a large number of residential houses, there was a tent that seemed to have been set up by the Israeli army for its forces, surrounded by earthen barriers with large numbers of cylinders containing rocket shells placed around them, printed in English with words such as "explosive material" and "United States of America," according to an Anadolu correspondent.

It is evident that the area was a focal point for Israeli artillery vehicles to shell other parts of the city.

In one of the neighborhoods, children were seen collecting empty Israeli rockets and shells to make pillars for tents, which they erected on the ruins of homes destroyed by Israeli rockets in more than half a year of war.

Children fill the military remnants, which take the form of cylinders, with sand to turn them into pillars, to which they tie ropes to support the dilapidated tents, posing a real danger to their lives and the lives of their families.

The scene was previously repeated in northern Gaza, where Anadolu spotted large quantities of Israeli military remnants in February, including weapons such as artillery shells, hand grenades and live ammunition.

The Israeli remnants include explosive and non-explosive ammunition and weapon parts, representing a continuous threat to the safety of Palestinians.

- Bombs designed for fortifications

According to Palestinian security sources, the Israeli army used US-made bombs to assault civilian neighborhoods in Gaza, “although they were manufactured for use against military targets.”

Sources noted that among the bombs used by the Israeli army in Gaza is the US "MK" bomb, which contains highly explosive materials.

They pointed out that there are other types of bombs, which are multi-chambered and have different weights, including MK82 weighing 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds), MK83 weighing 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds) and MK84 weighing a ton (1,000 kilograms, or 2,204 pounds), known for being the most lethal and destructive.

The army also used winged bombs of the GPU31, GPU38 and GPU10 types to bomb civilian neighborhoods, according to sources.

Sources also affirmed that the munitions were manufactured in the US for military use against shelters and military fortifications.

But the Israeli army used them to extensively bomb civilian neighborhoods across Gaza, resulting in the deaths of a large number of civilians.

- UN criticism of Washington

UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Francesca Albanese criticized Washington's denial of Israel's use of US weapons in violations of international law committed in Gaza.

“The US administration's straight-faced denial that Israel uses US weapons in violation of International Law is bewildering,” Albanese wrote Thursday on X.

She sarcastically wondered “unless they think that razing cities to the ground & indiscriminately killing civilians is in line with International Law.”

The post came in response to a video posted by Palestinian activist Ahmed al-Madhoun, showing several US-made weapons left behind by Israeli soldiers after leaving Khan Younis.

Al-Madhoun wrote in the video: “This is what the Israeli army left behind after completely destroying the city of Khan Younis, American shells empty!”

- Ongoing danger

In addition to having evidence of US participation in killing civilians in Gaza, the war remnants continue to pose a significant danger to the lives of civilians.

The UN Mine Action Service said May 2 that around 7,500 tons of unexploded ordnance are scattered throughout Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli war, and their removal could take nearly 14 years.

In the meantime, to mitigate the risks faced by civilians and relief teams, the UN agency issued urgent appeals for assistance from the international community to remove war remnants, according to the UN News website.

The UN Mine Action Service conducts awareness campaigns about the risks of the ordnances through social media and sends text messages, in addition to distributing leaflets to 1.2 million residents in Gaza.

The UN website noted that “in total, there is an estimated 37 million tons of debris in the enclave which likely contains about 800,000 tons of asbestos and other contaminants.”

The term "asbestos" refers to a group of naturally occurring fibrous minerals used for insulation in buildings, roofing components, water supply pipes, fire blankets, plastic fillers and medical packaging, among others.

According to the World Health Organization, all forms of asbestos are human carcinogens and may cause lung, throat, ovarian and other cancers.

Following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Khan Younis last month, a UN assessment team reported that streets and public areas were heavily contaminated with unexploded ordnances, including unexploded 1,000-pound bombs at major intersections and within school premises.

Israel continued its brutal offensive on Gaza despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

Nearly 35,400 Palestinians have since been killed, the vast majority being women and children, and more than 79,300 others injured since October following an attack by the Palestinian resistance group.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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