Exclusive: 'Post' obtains pictures of bottles, sent as humanitarian aid by Israel, used during Cast Lead.
By YAAKOV KATZ
Medicine bottles, transferred to the Gaza Strip as humanitarian aid by Israel, were used by Hamas as grenades against IDF troops during Operation Cast Lead. Pictures of the grenades were obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post.
The medicine bottles were manufactured by the Jerusalem Pharmaceutical Company, which is based in el-Bireh, a town adjacent to Ramallah, and the global pharmaceutical company Shire.
The medicine bottles were filled with explosives, holes were drilled in the caps, and fuses were installed. Once Hamas fighters lit the fuses, they had several seconds to throw the grenades at soldiers. The IDF also found small explosive devices that used medical syringes to hold their fuses.
The medical grenades were discovered in northern Gaza by troops during last month's three-week battle against Hamas. The grenades were taken to military explosives experts, and then disassembled and studied.
One bottle turned into a grenade originally contained a drug called Equetro, which is used by people who suffer from episodes associated with bipolar disorder. Another bottle had contained a vitamin supplement called Super-Vit.
"This is another example of Hamas's cynical use of humanitarian supplies to attack Israel," a Defense Ministry official said Thursday. "Israel facilitates the transfer of the supplies to the Gaza Strip, and Hamas uses the supplies to create weapons."
During the offensive, the IDF encountered a variety of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were manufactured by Hamas and Islamic Jihad inside the Gaza Strip. Some were anti-personnel bombs and others were planted on the sides of roads or underground to be activated against IDF tanks and armored personnel carriers. Some of the IEDs were fitted with advanced wireless detonators and others were attached to a wire.
In one instance, a Merkava tank from Brigade 401 rolled over a large explosive device that lifted the tank in the air but did not cause any serious damage, due to a plate of reinforced steel that was installed on the tank before the operation.
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