Israel burying nuclear waste near Hebron?

An article on Electronic Intifada alleges Israel is burying nuclear waste from its Dimona research reactor at a location on the occupied West Bank. The Dimona facility is at a remote location in the Negev desert, but evidence is emerging that the waste is being dumped at a Palestinian village south of Hebron, where the population suffers from a variety of mysterious health problems. Issa Samandar writes May 19:

There have been reports that Dimona’s nuclear waste is dumped in El Dahriya, a Palestinian village, South of El-Khalil or commonly known as Hebron. First, big holes are dug in the ground, then the waste is dumped followed by a cement cover up, on which fake rocks are placed that are sealed with screws. The surrounding villages were not informed about these hazardous practices. Instead they learned about it through an increase of their communities’ alarming health problems, which are solely caused by being exposed to nuclear radioactivity.

Doctor Thabayneh Khalil, a researcher from Hebron University reported that there is an alarming increase of radioactivity in the Southern area of Hebron that exceeds all natural radioactivity readings in the world.

The uranium level in El-Khalil valley reaches 237 becquerel (bcq) per kilogram, which equals about 10 times the permitted concentration, which is 25 bcq. The Thorium 232 (Th) level reaches 152 bcq where the permitted concentration level is also 25 bcq. The readings on Cesium 137 (Cs), another radio-active isotope that only emerges from nuclear explosions or nuclear activities is equivalently high.

The permitted concentration is zero, but in 5 villages South of El-Khalil, its concentration ranges from 12.4 bcq up to 30.2 bcq. The list of radio-active isotope readings is from the same range causing serious damages to the health of the villagers in the area.

From El Dahriya village, already 452 cases have been reported having contagious and lethal bacteria. Seventy from these 452 cases have cancer. Regarding the cancer cases alone, in the same time frame, there has been an increase of 10% in cancer cases.

Additionally, for the past four months there has been a 300% increase of birth defects. Infertility rates, spontaneous abortions, hair loss without indication are becoming commonly prevalent. The list of reported illnesses continues, but up till now have not been reported as it should be.

Michael Shappira, an Israeli physician confirmed that the information concerning the alarming and abnormal increase in the prevalence of leukaemia in Yatta, a village in the area is correct. The physician did not exclude that this phenomenon is related to the Israeli nuclear hazardous chemical waste that is being dumped in that area.

The same physician said that the prevalence of leukaemia in the area means probably that there is dangerous pollution in the water resources.

See another article on Israel’s nuclear waste.

NOTE: Israel’s nuclear weapons program at Dimona is an open secret, and Israel is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Prolferation Treaty (NPT). However, Israel’s very real nuclear weapons program (unlike Iran’s hypothetical one) was not a major issue at the just-closed UN sessions reviewing the NPT.

See our last post on land grabs in the Occupied Territories.