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Medics demand Israel halts sonic booms over Gaza

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli and Palestinian medics filed a joint petition to
Israel's high court demanding the air force halt its sonic booms over Gaza because they were terrorising the local population.
The petition by Palestinian mental health professionals and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel([search]) (PHR) said the repeated ear-splitting blasts, caused by an aircraft breaking the sound barrier, terrorise Gazans and cause intense stress.

The psychological damage caused by the sonic booms amounts to collective punishment and must be stopped, the petition said.

Since a suicide bombing in northern Israel last Wednesday, the Israeli air force has carried out multiple bombing raids over the
Gaza([search]) Strip targeting Palestinian militants.

The warplanes have also broken the sound barrier as a show of force to the local population.

The air force no longer flies at speeds exceeding the speed of sound over Israeli civilian areas due to the stress they cause to the population, PHR said.

But efforts to intimidate Gaza residents backfired last week, with the enormous booms causing thousands of Israelis to panic all the way up the Mediterranean coast, as far north as Haifa -- 150 kilometres (90 miles) away.

So powerful were the shockwaves that police switchboards were jammed with concerned callers wanting to report hearing an explosion, the Maariv daily reported.

The military said the sonic booms were only intended for Gazan airspace.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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