On Monday, Arab nations accused Israel of using ammunition containing depleted uranium in its offensive against Gaza.

Arabs have called upon and urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate reports that traces of it had been found in victims of the shelling.

In a letter on behalf of Arab ambassadors accredited in Austria, Prince Mansour Al-Saoud, the Saudi Ambassador, expressed our deep concern regarding the information ... that traces of depleted uranium have been found in Palestinian victims.

A final draft of the letter was made available to The Associated Press on Monday. It urgently requested IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to carry out a radiological and physical assessment in order to verify the presence of depleted uranium in the weaponry used by Israel ... in the Gaza Strip.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed receipt of the letter and said a response might be issued later in the day.

The letter — which spoke of medical and media sources as the origin of its allegations — appeared to be alluding to health concerns related to depleted uranium but the effects of exposure to the substance are unclear.

Israel has previously been accused of using depleted uranium; making their shells harder and giving them increased penetrating power.

Israel has declined to comment on this.

The U.S. and NATO have used uranium-depleted rounds in Bosnia and Iraq.