Gaza Cancer Rates on Rise
Dr. Khalid Thabet, head of the Oncology Department at the government-run Shifa Hospital, said in a meeting with Al-Monitor that he expects the rate of cancer patients to double over the next five years in the Gaza Strip, due to the uranium used by Israel in its attacks against the Gaza Strip during the 2008-2009 war.
While Israel denied in Jan. 2009 that it had used depleted uranium in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, an investigation by French NGO Action of Civilians for Nuclear Disarmament (ACDN) shortly after the war found the use of depleted uranium “highly probable.”
"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 Program (UNEP). ACDN ... 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).”