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Gaza: Operation Cast Lead Weapons Caused Birth Defects

New research published today in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found a “causative/favouring role” between exposure to white phosphorous weapons during and following Operation Cast Lead, and birth defects (BD) in Gaza newborns.

9 May 2012

The researchers stated that “Children with BD were born with higher frequency (p < 0 001) in families where one or both parents were under “white phosphorus” attack, than in the general population. Bombing of the family home and removal of the rubble were also frequently reported by couples with BD occurrence.”

They pointed out that their data show that in the majority of cases the birth defects occurred in families with no previous history of birth defects, and that the same malformations occurred in unrelated families who had similar exposure to white phosphorous and other bombing events.

The authors, from the universities of Naples and Genoa in Italy, and El Shifa Hospital in Gaza, said that the correlation they found between children with birth defects and the war exposure of their parents raises serious concerns about the effects of weapon components on developing embryos, which should be further investigated.

A PDF of the full article can be downloaded here:

Julie Webb-Pullman
scoop.co.nz, 9 May, 2012.


On contamination in Gaza, see also:
- “New weapons experimented in Gaza: population risks genetic mutations,” by newweapons.org, 11 May, 2010.
- “Metals detected in Palestinian children’s hair”, by newweapons.org, 17 March, 2010.
- “Newborn in Gaza with severe defects”, Palestine News Network, 28 January, 2010.
- “The potentially widespread contamination of the soil of Gaza due to Israeli bombing”, by Professors Mario Barbieri, Maurizio Barbieri and Paola Manduca (newweapons.org), 17 December, 2009.
- “Gaza : A Death Camp ? – Interview with Doctor Thabet El Masri”, by Silvia Cattori, 14 October, 2009.
- “Gaza : Des mères palestiniennes horrifiées par la naissance d’enfants difformes”, by Silvia Cattori, 30 September. 2009.