« Operation Cast Lead »:
Dozens of Tonnes of Depleted Uranium and other radioactive substances were spread across the Gaza Strip
Friday 22 May 2009
ACDN Media Release, 22 May 2009
In the Gaza Strip between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, the Israeli army conducted a ground and air offensive nicknamed « Operation Cast Lead ».
During the first few days a Norwegian doctor doing humanitarian service in the hospital at Shifa, Dr Mads Gilbert, denounced the presence of radioactive matter, possibly Depleted Uranium, in the bodies of victims. On 4 January 2009, after investigation, ACDN (Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes) alerted the press and public opinion with a media release: « In Gaza, the genocide with Depleted Uranium has begun, using GBU-39 bombs provided by the USA ».
This accusation has now emerged with greater strength after several months of investigation carried out in close liaison with the people concerned and with the help of Jean-François Fechino, a consultant on diffuse pollution and an expert accredited to the UN Environment (UNEP). ACDN has just produced a 33-page report concluding that the presence of dozens of tonnes of Depleted Uranium (perhaps as much as 75 tonnes) in the soil and subsoil of Gaza is highly probable.
In April 2009, a four-person mission including Jean-François Fechino went to Gaza under the auspices of the Arab Commission for Human Rights. The samples of earth and dust that they brought back from Gaza were then analysed by a specialist laboratory, which found in them elements of Depleted Uranium (which is radioactive, carcinogenic, teratogenic), particles of Cesium (which is radioactive and carcinogenic), asbestos dust (which is carcinogenic), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, which are fine particles which endanger health, especially the health of children, asthmatics and old people), phosphates (from oxidation of white phosphorus), tungsten (which is carcinogenic), copper, aluminium oxide (which is carcinogenic), and Thorium Oxide (ThO2, which is radioactive)...
The detailed results will soon be made public. Journalists or other persons wishing to learn more are invited to contact ACDN or visit its Website www.acdn.net.