Lawyers investigating possible war crimes by Israel in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Thursday said the Jewish state used uranium in recent offensive on the blockaded territory.
Findings indicated that Israel heavily used uranium materials in its war in Gaza, Haitham Manna of the International Coalition for Trying Israeli War Criminals told a news conference in Gaza city. At first, a French lab "asked us to obtain license from Ukraine because they believed the samples were obtained from a place hit by Chernobyl accident due to the high amount of Uranium that were found," Manna told Xinhua.
"We provided the labs with GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates for the cites and images from the scenes where we collected the samples," he added.
The samples were collected from the Gaza Strip after Israel ended a three-week offensive on Jan. 18 to check if they contained prohibited weapons.
Some of the results that French, Italian and British labs released showed that "the amount of depleted uranium in the areas of the samples were more than 75 tons and this is a very dangerous percentage for the overcrowded places in Gaza," Manna said.
About 25 samples were handed to the labs, including air filters of Palestinian ambulances and fragments of weapons collected from Gaza-Egypt border area and northeast Gaza city.
In a addition to the uranium, carcinogen materials and asbestos dust were found in the air in the Gaza Strip.
Manna and Norwegian lawyers have been working to sue Israel for war crimes they say the Jewish state committed during Operation Cast Lead between Dec. 27, 2008 and Jan. 18, 2009.
More than 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during the Israeli offensive and thousands of houses, infrastructure and governmental buildings were destroyed by Israeli raids.
He said his group "has been acting as a party, gathering evidences and submitting them to investigation panels." A copy of the results were given to the South African persecutor Richard Goldstone who leads a UN mission to investigate possible war crimes in Gaza.