1 February 2001 (A/55/60, S/2001/98)

Letter sent by Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N., to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the Security Council, and the President of the General Assembly: (Israeli Uranium Use)

I wish to convey to you the serious concern of the Palestinian leadership regarding the possible use by Israel, the occupying Power, of depleted uranium shells against Palestinian targets, especially during the more recent and intensified Israeli military campaign over the last few months. Several reports have indicated that Israel has indeed used such ammunition, which is suspected of causing grave diseases and which has obviously caused great anxiety among the Palestinian people in the occupied territory.

In this connection, on 30 January, the Israeli army issued a press statement in which it stated that "the Israeli army has never utilized these munitions against any civilian population." This language can only indicated that the Israeli army does indeed possess this kind of ammunition in its arsenal and that it has used it in the past. Further, the issue of "civilian population" remains of matter of definition, as Israel has repeatedly indicated in the past. In our opinion, this press statement alone justifies raising the issue in a serious way and calls for field inspection by appropriate, trained inspectors.

We call upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in cooperation with the Security Council, to give this important matter the necessary attention, including looking into the possibilities of the above-mentioned inspection.