British newspaper 'The Independent' reported Monday that the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has launched an investigation into claims that the Israel Defense Forces used bombs containing uranium during its bombardment of Lebanon
in the war this summer.
has denied the accusations,
which were published in the journal over the weekend.
According to the report, the 12 UN and Lebanese experts investigating the matter over the past two weeks have examined soil samples taken from the battle zones.
UNEP’s Middle East director, Boutros el-Harb, told Lebanese radio that, “If uranium was in fact used we will find this out and make an announcement. We cannot confirm anything at this stage, and we will wait for the results.”
According to ‘The Independent,’ Dr. Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, said that two soil samples thrown up by Israeli guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures."
He stated that laboratory tests of soil gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, suggest the use of bombs containing uranium.
The Harwell nuclear research facility in Oxfordshire confirmed the existence of uranium isotopes in Lebanon. European Union experts are currently attempting to determine the type of weapon used by Israel during the war. One expert, Professor Chris Bellamy, said it was unlikely that Israel used “dirty bombs” in Lebanon. The Palestinians have long since claimed that Israel uses uranium-filled bombs.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mark Regev said in response to the report, “The weapons we used in Lebanon have been used by NATO and Western countries for years. Sometimes it seems that when it comes to the Jewish State – it is decided to treat the matter differently. Someone has to ask why an accusatory finger is being pointed at Israel.”