Palestinian Environment Minister Youssef Abu Sofia has accused Israel of using illegal chemical weapons in the Palestinian territories. "Analyses carried out in laboratories outside Palestine have shown that Israel has had recourse to banned chemical weapons and depleted uranium" Abu Sofia said. He made a similar claim in 2001.
He further accused Israel of having "transported major quantities of dangerous chemical products into the interior of the Palestinian territories thereby seriously polluting the water table".
Abu Sofia quoted figures from the Palestinian agriculture and environment ministry to the effect that "two million trees have been uprooted in the past six years, half a million of them olive trees". He said that Israel had refused the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the IAEA access to the Palestinian territories to look into the situation.
Similar accusations were made that Israel used depleted uranium munitions during the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon this summer. However, the UNEP found no evidence that Israel used munitions with depleted uranium during its conflict. After a three week investigation where samples were taken from 32 sites south and north of the Litani River, no depleted uranium shrapnel, or other radioactive residue, was found.