Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Nov 06, 2005
Google



International
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

International Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Sonic boom raids cause fear, trauma

Chris McGreal

Gaza: Israel is deploying a terrifying new tactic against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by letting loose deafening ``sound bombs'' that cause widespread fear, induce miscarriages and traumatise children.

The removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip opened the way for the military to use air force jets to create dozens of sonic booms by breaking the sound barrier at low altitude, sending shockwaves across the territory, often at night.

Palestinians liken the sound to an earthquake or huge bomb. They describe the effect as being hit by a wall of air that is painful on the ears, sometimes causing nosebleeds and ``leaving you shaking inside''.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says the sonic booms have led to miscarriages and heart problems. The United Nations has demanded an end to the tactic, saying it causes panic attacks in children.

The shockwaves have also damaged buildings by cracking walls and smashing thousands of windows. One of them blew in the glass of the ``Chairman Arafat shop'' in Gaza City.

``I have never heard such a loud explosion. I thought it was right over the top of my building,'' said the owner, Tareq Dayyeh. ``Sometimes you hear the rockets the Israelis fire but this was different. I felt like I was in the middle of a bomb. When I ran out the door I thought I might find the rest of the street was gone.''

Over the past week, Israeli jets created 28 sonic booms by flying at high speed and low altitude over the Gaza Strip, sometimes as little as an hour apart through the night. During five days in late September, the air force caused 29 sonic booms.

Israel says the aim is to break civilian support for armed Palestinian groups responsible for last week's suicide bombing, which killed five persons, and mortar attacks. It argues that sound bombs are preferable to real ones. But on Friday, two medical human rights groups, one Israeli and one Palestinian, submitted a petition to the Tel Aviv High Court, demanding an end to the tactic.

— © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



International

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu