Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Hamas says more babies born with birth defects since Cast Lead

10 October 2009

IOA Editor: The Hebrew version of this Haaretz report refers to the “higher percentage of children have been born with birth defects” mentioned below as a “50% increase in birth defects.”  It also includes a specific reference to “birth of babies without limbs” among the birth defects.

The Hebrew version header does not mention Hamas.  It reads as follows –  “Palestinian Health Minister: more babies born with birth defects since Cast Lead”.

Haaretz Hebrew report:

By Haaretz Service – 10 Oct 2009

The Hamas Health Ministry is claiming that since the Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza last winter, a higher percentage of children have been born with birth defects, the Ma’an news agency has reported.

According to Dr. Muweiyah Hassenein, head of the ministry’s ambulance and emergency department, “we have found cases among newborn babies involving heart defects and brain abnormalities.”

The report, which was published by Ma’an in September, quotes Hassenein as saying that the higher number of birth defects is a result of “Israel’s use of internationally prohibited weapons against the civilians of Gaza.”

According to the Ma’an article, some researchers have alleged “Israel used the Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) as well, which could cause biological effects on fetuses.”

The ministry says they haven’t received confirmation that IDF ordnance caused the birth defects, and that the group is waiting for the results of examinations performed in European labs.

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