by Marc Abizeid, Special to The Daily Star
April 28, 2009
BEIRUT: Renowned Chinese-English physician Dr. Swee Ang gave a moving testimony on Saturday of Israel's destruction in the Gaza Strip as witnessed in her recent trip to the tiny Palestinian enclave. "Cluster bombs, deliberate assassinations of whole families that they would line up and shoot," Ang said as she listed a number of acts committed by Israel during its 22-day assault on Gaza in December and January that left over 1,400 Palestinians dead.
"The Israelis would wait until the ambulances got the wounded and then attack them, killing and injuring the drivers," she continued.
Ang and Norwegian physician Hans Husum were invited to offer an assessment of the situation in Gaza during the "Wounds of Gaza" lecture at the UNESCO Palace organized by the Sabra Shatila Foundation.
Ang, who bears distinct Asian features, also remarked that Israelis couldn't distinguish her from the Palestinians during her visit - a fact that made her proud.
"The Israelis attacked me in London for saying that 1.5 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Gaza, but I will show you the evidence," she said while presenting nauseating photographs taken during her visit of charred victims burned with phosphorous and large civilian buildings collapsed with vacuum bombs.
"I was very angry when I learned that Israeli tanks would come in front of a house and first fire a normal shell to break open the wall, then shoot a phosphorous shell into it," she said.
Husum, equally angered by the war in Gaza, lashed out at the United States which he said provided Israel with the experimental Dense Inert Metal Explosives, or DIME weapons, to test on the Palestinians.
"This weapon tears the flesh off the bone, it opens up the chest, ... it kills a lot of people," he said, adding that the "new kind of wars" like in Gaza and Israel's summer 2006 war on Lebanon were launched not to make conventional military advancements, but rather with the aim of breaking the will of the people.
He went on to predict that the next war in Lebanon would be an urban one, systematically targeting cities in order to "break society" because, as he put, "humanitarian law is dead - it's out."
"I've been a war surgeon for 30 years. I've seen a lot, but I am shocked," he said. "If the aim of the enemy is to scare us into subjugation and to put us down on our knees, then we have to stand up - we do not bend down."