Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Long term soil devastation in Gaza due to use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Israel/Palestine Donate to DU
 
DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:48 PM
Original message
Long term soil devastation in Gaza due to use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium
excerpt~
Financially speaking it is clear that reconstruction costs in the Strip are around two billion. The Ministry of Agriculture says that another 170 million USD is needed for that sector alone.

Agriculture Minister Mohammad Al Agha told a press conference in Gaza City today that nearly a thousand water wells were destroyed along with 60 percent of the Strips total agricultural land. Included in the 170 million figure needed is the cost for reconstruction to the fishing industry in the Mediterranean Sea.

Massive destruction caused in the agricultural and fishing sector of the Gaza Strip through bulldozing thousands of acres and destroying wells, agriculture and poultry and livestock farms, fishing ports and fishing boats, and canning and packaging plants.

Al Agha said that the Israeli military use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium have a direct impact on agriculture and public health as the length of stay of these toxic substances in the soil will continue to create disastrous results.

He called in this context for assistance in testing collected soil samples. The equipment in the Gaza Strip is old and in disrepair due to the ban on imports. Al Agha asked that international and Arab organizations and governments help move the samples for outside testing or break the siege to allow the import of sophisticated lab equipment.
http://ramallahonline.com/content/2833-long-term-soil-d...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. why were the Israelis allowed to use these nasty substances?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. because there is no one to stop them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. They are currently allowed under the LOW and many nations use it
Its also not clear how much DU was used. It would not have made sense to use large quantities. Same with WP
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I wonder can be stop using it now?
ban!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The LOWs need to be updated in a number of areas
The DU is not going to go away any time soon. Its not as toxic as some make it out to be.

WP might be possible to ban.


The article in the OP is a little strident. There is also very very little arable land in Gaza.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. depleted uranium is ATOMIC WASTE
the argument that it's not as toxic -- compared to WHAT? It's NUCLEAR WASTE. It can effect GENERATIONS of people who are forced into living in that Ghetto the Israelis have forced these people into.

Not as toxic :sarcasm: :puke:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Are you aware its in many commercial airliners as ballast?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 10:26 PM by HardcoreProgressive
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Using the argument that this is no big deal because "There is also very very little arable land in
Gaza" says everything you need to know about yourself. I'll just omit stating the obvious, and leave it up to you to decide if you want to think about what that kind of comment reveals to everyone else, and should show to you.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Read for content much?
The OP made it sound like the rolling green farm land of Gaza was intentionally poisoned by Israel. Yet its well known that
- Gaza has one of the highest population densities in the world.
- There is little space for rolling green farm fields, let alone the water for that style of farming.
- Most plants are raised in green houses.
- Agriculture is focused on high value crops for export such as strawberries (heartbreaking story about that a while back)

Point out hyperbole is not the same as defending actions...a subtlety beyond your grasp
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. "They created a desolation, and they called it peace!" -- Tacitus
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. unless there is a rapid response
to cleaning up the agricultural fields there will be no crops this cycle. all the food for the citizens of gaza will have to be imported. then consider the sewage seeping into the aquifers.....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. White phosphorus - create a screen for troop advancement?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:21 PM by higher class
Depleted uranium - what was that used for? Or what was is it from?

I just can't handle any more of the crimes of Israel.

I want to call them every sewer word I know.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. WP is used as an obscurant - it creates very dense smoke
it is not primarily used as an anti-personnel weapon.

There is no real evidence of DU - it wouldn't make too much sense because it is used primarily for anti-tank weapons that need to penetrate thick armor. Hamas had no tanks.

Both sides generate propaganda - I suspect when the real facts are known the DU threat will have been found to have been exaggerated.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Duckhunter935 Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Yes used as long lasting smokescreen
DU http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munition...

The Department of Energy (DOE) has reported that the DU it provided to DoD for manufacturing armor plates and munitions may contain trace levels (a few parts per billion ) of contaminants including neptunium, plutonium, americium, technitium-99 and uranium-236. From a radiological perspective, these contaminants in DU add less than one percent to the radioactivity of DU itself.

In military applications, when alloyed, Depleted Uranium is ideal for use in armor penetrators. These solid metal projectiles have the speed, mass and physical properties to perform exceptionally well against armored targets. DU provides a substantial performance advantage, well above other competing materials. This allows DU penetrators to defeat an armored target at a significantly greater distance. Also, DU's density and physical properties make it ideal for use as armor plate. DU has been used in weapon systems for many years in both applications.

Smoke Projectiles http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munition...

(1) Hexachloroethane. Hexachloroethane (HC) smoke (smk) projectiles are available for 105-mm and 155-mm howitzers. They are used for screening, obscuration, spotting, and signaling purposes. The projectile has no casualty-producing effects. This base-ejection projectile is ballistically simailar to the HE projectile. It is fitted with a mechanical time fuze M565 or M577. The round expels smoke canisters that emit smoke for a period of 40 to 90 seconds.

(2) Burster-type white phosphorus. White phosphorus projectiles are available for 105-mm and 155-mm howitzers. They are bursting-tube type projectiles that can be fired with point-detonating (PD) or MTSQ fuzes. The projectile has an incendiary-producing effect and is ballistically similar to the HE projectile. Normally, shell WP is employed for its incendiary effect. The projectile also can be used for screening, spotting, and signaling purposes.

(3) M825 white phosphorus. The M825 WP projectile is an FA-delivered 155-mm base-ejection projectile designed to produce a smoke screen on the ground for a duration of 5 to 15 minutes. It consists of two major components--the projectile carrier and the payload. The projectile carrier delivers the payload to the target. The payload consists of 116 WP-saturated felt wedges. The smoke screen is produced when a predetermined fuze action causes ejection of the payload from the projectile. After ejection, the WP-saturated felt wedges in the payload fall to the ground in an elliptical pattern. Each wedge then becomes a point or source of smoke. The M825 is ballistically similar to the M483A1 (DPICM) family of projectiles.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. DU is used for armor piercingrounds or deep penetration bombs
Its not like its plutonium, and can be handled safely. Its also used as ballast in airplanes. Very very dense material. Currently allowed. Most nations have it.

Under the current rules, WP is allowed for illumination and smoke screens. It is not allowed as an anti-personnel weapon. It is really nasty stuff. Just about every nation has it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ConsAreLiars Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Radioactive substances are used in medicine,
Therefore radioactive substances and poisons used to used to kill people and ruin crops are perfectly fine. You pretend to be totally ignorant of the difference in toxicity between DU as a solid and as dust that is inhaled or ingested, although you surely are not that stupid. No, you are just spinning with the best of them, throwing up all kinds of nonsense, hoping no one will do a reality check. Jesus (pardon the language), how lame can your justifications for this mass murder become?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. What did I post that was incorrect?
DU and WP are currently allowed under the current LOW. I have suggested in this thread and others that needs to be revisited.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. I wouldn't be worried about the white phosphorus.
For PR purposes, the Gazans are. But war reporting and political reporting make for pretty bad science reporting.

The WP mostly stops being WP fairly quick; in fact, most WP isn't pure WP--it's hard to keep it pure. In any case, once a WP shell explodes the WP falls to land on the surface of the ground or buildings; as long as it's in contact with air, it'll react--cover it with water or another solvent, it stops reacting. Cover it with dirt that doesn't allow oxygen to get through, it stops reacting--but the shells exploded above ground, so the falling WP didn't burrow in very deeply. Moreover, soils in Gaza are dry and there's not just a lot of water about. This is important--if the WP lands in mud, you can have it protected and it'll stay WP for a while, waiting to combust upon exposure to air. The reaction products can produce a bit of pollution if a lot's used, but most winds up being dispersed by the air. The small particles may settle in the ground and alter the soil pH a bit, or be washed out of the air by rain, but eventually it'll be converted phosphoric acid, and from there to phosphates. By "eventually" I mean, of course, early last week.

Too much phosphate can be a bad thing for plants. But it doesn't render the soil toxic for humans, and it's unlikely that the streets and building that it fell on have a very high crop yield. The soils it fell on are mostly, at least in the photos I've seen, unproductive. In any event, over the course of a year (or less) most of it would wash out. If it makes it to the aquifers, I think I'd be more concerned with what metals it picked up along the way. If it is removed as runoff, that's probably not a problem. I read recently that the nitrate and phosphate pollution in the Nile has actually increased fisheries off the coast of Egypt (since there's the little matter of the Mediterranean being so nutrient poor that nutrients, not oxygen, is the limiting factor in growth); I figure this means some dumping of sewage off the Gaza coast might not be an entirely bad thing, to be honest. Unpleasant, to be sure.

Nobody's actually proven that DU's used in Gaza. It seems only plausible that it was used. The one person who went on record saying he identified it didn't say exactly how he identified it and made sure that it wasn't, as was the case in the only sample of "DU-contaminated" soil from Lebanon a couple of years ago, a naturally occurring concentration of radioisotopes. If they can't do quantitative tests for phosphorus (which require state-of-the-art c. 1880 equipment and knowledge), they almost certainly couldn't test for DU in an emergency room during the conflict.

In both cases the article is intended to make us say, "Oh my God, their soils have been poisoned and salted for a generation, how horrible," i.e., to make us indignant so that we assume the conclusion is true and therefore the proof is provided. It asks us to preclude questioning whether there are facts behind the assertions, and if the conclusions are warranted. This is nice rhetoric, bad logic, what I call "critical feeling" to highlight that it emphatically fails the "critical thinking" test. I'd test a few of the more promising sites for DU; esp. down along the Egyptian border where the extra mass might help penetrate the soil, but wouldn't be overly concerned until the test results came back.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Don't you go getting scientific or factual here, it really upsets some of the locals
Good bet on the penetrators containing DU. No one seems to realize that its on most airliners too.

WP burns are god awful but its its a easy diagnosis. Even if the medico is new to it, after the first time, you won't mistake it again.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Sep 21st 2014, 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Israel/Palestine Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC