Explosive bullets: The latest weapon used against Palestinians

Explosive bullets: The latest weapon used against Palestinians
Analysis: Evidence has come to light of Israel's use of explosive bullets against Palestinians.
3 min read
20 October, 2015
Fouad Jabarin remains in hospital after being injured by an explosive round [al-Araby]
Fouad Hijazi al-Jabarin, a 20-year-old resident of Ramallah is still lying on a hospital bed in in the Palestine Medical Complex.

He was shot with explosive bullets by Israeli forces on Friday during clashes with the Israeli military that broke out north of the city.

There have been numerous recent reports of the Israeli army using explosive rounds, especially aimed at the lower parts of the body.

"I was a few hundred metres from the Israeli soldiers, when suddenly I felt an explosion. I felt as if my heart was breaking," Jabarin told al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

"I fell to the ground, before being taken to hospital where I had surgery. My stomach and intestines were torn up by the bullet," he added.

Khaled al-Wawi, a member of staff at the Palestine Technical University in the city of Tulkarem, was consigned to his home for a month and a half after being shot with an explosive round. He was injured during an Israeli raid on a demonstration at the university.

On Sunday, photojournalist Rami Sweidan was covering clashes that had broken out at the Huwarra checkpoint, south of Nablus. He was also wounded with an explosive bullet, shattering bones in his leg.

Sweidan said he was standing 50 metres from Israeli soldiers when he was hit.

Another photojournalist, Ahmed Talaat Hassan, a resident of Nablus, was also injured in the foot while covering clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilia, and still has shrapnel lodged inside.
     Removing the fragments can cause more serious damage
- Samir Saliba

"These fragments are made of metal; they are very accurate and buried between the tissue of the body. Doctors prefer to leave it, as removing the fragments can cause more serious damage," said Samir Saliba, head of the emergency department at the Palestine Medical Complex.

The explosive bullet consists of a metal head of 6mm diameter, and an explosive substance within.

Saliba fears that Israel has developed ammunition that could increase the lethality and affect the size and seriousness of the injury.

Sam Jamal Faraj Mansi, 20, from al-Shuafat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, was fatally shot on Thursday with an explosive bullet that hit his chest, according to Saliba.

Political scientist Abdul Ilah Alotarah told al-Araby that the explosive bullets were usually used for targeted assassinations. The impact of the bullet depends on the distance the weapon is fired from.

The Israeli army has frequently used such explosive bullets during the recent clashes with Palestinians, say medics.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has documented 500 injuries from live ammunition, a third of which involved the use of explosive bullets.

Mohammed Awawda, media spokesperson for the ministry told al-Araby that the number of injured Palestinians by both live and rubber bullets has risen to more than 1,300 since the beginning of the month.