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Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2014

Nuclear Waste Near Israeli Prisons for Palestinians may be Cause of High Cancer Rate

nsnbc : High rates of cancer in populations of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli administrated prisons may be caused by waste from Israel’s nuclear and chemical weapons production at the Dimona facility, buried near the prisons.

Israeli nuclear and chemical weapons manufacturing facility at Dimona (image by

Israeli nuclear and chemical weapons manufacturing facility at Dimona (image by

The high cancer rates may be attributed to nuclear toxic waste which Israel buries near several prisons in the Negev desert, reports IMEMC, quoting the Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana.

The agency quotes Ferwana as stating that 53.7 percent of these detainees are held in Be’er As-Sabe (Beersheba) Prision, Ramon, Nafha, and the Negev detention camp.

All of there prisons are located close to the area where Israel buries toxic waste, in the Negev, close to the Israeli Dimona Nuclear Facility, said Ferwana.

Abdul-Nasser Ferwana, a former political prisoner himself,  said that many Israeli Environment Ministers have warned Tel Aviv of the dangers resulting from Israel’s toxic waste and from its nuclear experiments, reported the Egyptian newspaper Oyon Masr.

The newspaper quotes Ferwana as saying that those experiments are conducted in areas near the detention camps in the Negev, and that they are likely to be the leading cause of the noticeable increase in cancer, other strange conditions and serious diseases among the Palestinian detainees.

Numerous reports have been published on the environmental and health impact of Israel’s nuclear facility and Israel’s nuclear and chemical weapons program in the Dimona facility. In 2011, the Israeli Haarez newspaper reported that 44 employees at the facility and their families complained that the Dimona workers are suffering from cancer and many other conditions due to exposure to ionizing radiation and particles.

Israel is one of the few countries that never acceded to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Israel has, according to expert’s estimates, between 200 and 400 large nuclear weapons plus an unknown number of so-called mini-nukes. Defense analysts stress that Israel is believed to have a large, undeclared, chemical weapons arsenal too.

Anencephalic child.

Anencephalic child.

Nuclear weapons production is causing serious issues worldwide. Correlating the high rate of cancer and other serious illnesses among the detainees to the Dimona facility and buried waste in the locality near the prisons is by no means a wild guess.

A recent, 400 percent above national average, spike of the rare birth defect anencephaly, in Franklin, Benton and Yakima county in Washington State, USA, is according to independent researchers and activists most likely caused by the Hanford Nuclear Facility. Children with anencephaly fail to develop parts of their brain or skull. It is mostly lethal, although some children survive.

The Hanford Nuclear Facility was used for nuclear weapons production since the 1940s, and is considered to be the most polluted and dangerous location in the western hemisphere. Considering Israel’s comparatively small size, similar environmental and health problems as those observed in Hanford can be expected in the vicinity of the Dimona facility in Israel.

Ch/L – nsnbc 07.05.2014

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