NBC Weapons: August 17, 2001

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A recent article in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper discussed the obtaining biological or chemical weapons to use against Israelis. Noting that the bombing campaign, and the subsequent images of mutilated Israelis was working against the Palestinian cause. Especially since Israel was not responding in kind against Palestinian civilians. Suicide bombers could be equipped with chemical or biological weapons and set them off in Israeli population centers. It was also suggested that these weapons could be used against Israeli water supplies and beaches. What the article did not discuss was the difficulty in obtaining and handling such weapons. It's one thing for Palestinian bomb builders to kill themselves with an accidental bomb explosion, it would be quite something else if a chemical or biological weapon got loose in Palestinian areas while it was being made ready for use. Iraq has biological and chemical weapons, and these could be smuggled into Palestinian territory. But there would be considerable risk. Israeli intelligence has already detected and caught Iraqis trying to get into Palestinian territory. But this assumes that Iraq would want to risk the bad press if their agents, or chemical and biological weapons, were captured by the Israelis. The Palestinians also have to consider the media black eye they would get if they used such weapons. While many Arabs would cheer on such efforts, few other nations would. This would further isolate the Palestinians diplomatically. Moreover, if you're going to do it, you don't discuss it first in the official Palestinian newspaper. Then again, the article may just have been a test to see what kind of response such a move would generate.

 


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