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IDF Accused of Misusing Tear Gas by Left-wing Party’s Team of Doctors

June 10, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A team of doctors made public a report accusing the Israel Defense Force of flagrant violations of its own regulations governing the use of tear gas to disperse rioters in the Gaza Strip.

The doctors charged that many of the Palestinian casualties from the beginning of the uprising, last December, until April were the result of tear gas fired in closed areas. It caused at least 30 pregnant women to miscarry, the doctors claimed.

Gas should be fired in front of disorderly crowds, not into them, and soldiers should be given the proper training, the report said.

The team of six doctors was organized by Knesset member Dedi Zucker of the left-of-center Citizens Rights Movement to investigate medical conditions in the Gaza Strip. They had the full cooperation of the IDF.

The group presented its eight-page report Wednesday to Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Health Minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino and Attorney General Yosef Harish.

The medical team also accused the IDF of adopting “unacceptable standards” in the Gaza Strip. The report said in many cases no postmortems were done to determine cause of death. It charged that medical staffs at Gaza hospitals were forbidden by the military authorities to write on a child’s death certificate that inhalation of gas was the cause of death.

Moreover, the IDF does not disclose the types of gas used, although it would help in the treatment of inhalation cases, the report said.

The doctors said they found evidence of injured Arabs being removed from local hospitals to hospitals in Israel, not for further treatment but for interrogation — over the objections of the local physicians.

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