Israel accused of nuke hits

ATOMIC HEAD: IAEA's Mohammed ElBaradei. Cicra 2008. Pic. Unknown.
ATOMIC HEAD: IAEA's Mohammed ElBaradei. Cicra 2008. Pic. Unknown.

VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog said yesterday it would investigate allegations by Arab countries that Israel may have used ammunition containing depleted uranium during its 22-day military offensive in Gaza.

VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog said yesterday it would investigate allegations by Arab countries that Israel may have used ammunition containing depleted uranium during its 22-day military offensive in Gaza.

The allegation was made in a letter addressed to director-general Mohammed ElBaradei and delivered by the Saudi Arabian ambassador on Monday.

They asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate the matter.

IAEA spokesman Melissa Fleming confirmed receipt of the letter.

"We are circulating the letter to member states and will investigate the matter to the extent of our ability," Fleming said.

The course of action would be decided after consultation with member states.

The Israeli ambassador to the IAEA, Israel Michaeli, declined to comment.

Depleted uranium is a waste product of uranium enrichment and has a number of applications, including its use in weapons to penetrate tanks and armour plating.

Investigations have been carried out into its use in conflicts such as the 1991 Gulf War and 1994-95 Nato air strikes in the Balkans.

Depleted uranium could pose a risk in the form of dust found at impact sites. - Sapa-AFP

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