In case you don't watch the news, last night Israel sent forces into Gaza to try to rescue a kidnapped Corporal. The Israelis are finally getting tough with the nitwits that run Palestine, and I think it is about time. Politics aside, though, we get some good photos of Palestinian battlefield technology.
In battlefield technology, the shaped charge isn't cutting edge, except that it can cut through steel. Imagine an explosive device that manages to funnel the power of the blast into a predictable area, setting up a plasma jet that will cut steel. Well, by shaping the charge, you can do that. Any good combat engineer can make a shaped charge from composition C-4. Or, he can use a pre-made shaped charge. I myself have made expedient shaped charges for cutting bridge timbers. It isn't as good as a tamped charge, but it is effective nonetheless. In anti-armor technology we use shaped charges in the HEAT round. The HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) round uses a shaped charge to breach armor.
Here you see the Palestinian fighters setting a shaped charge to use against the Israeli forces. These photos are from Reuters and and come to us courtesy of Little Green Footballs. When that thing is detonated, it is going to create a standard shock wave, in a 360 pattern, throwing dirt and dust and debris everywhere. Some small portion of the shockwave is going to funnel forward and set up a plasma jet that will cut steel. That fighter is going to make a hell of a bang when the charge goes off, but whatever is in front of it is going to get the lion's share of the damage.
In this picture, we see the courageous Palestinian forces laying electrical wire to set off the shaped charge. We notice that the children are standing nearby, ready to run like hell if someone starts shooting at them. Any decent soldier, any decent commander would get the children away from there. These heroic Palestinian fighters would rather have the children nearby, because they know that the Israelis will think twice before firing in that direction. This photo documents the use of children as human shields by the Palestinians, and reduces them in my mind to Worthless Bastards.