The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Turns Down Call for Control of Israel’s Nuclear Program

Cancer rates among Palestinian prisoners in prisons near nuclear and chemical waste dumps exceed 50 percent

The General Conference of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) rejected a resolution tabled by 18 Arab nations, to submit Israel’s nuclear program to inspections and for Israel to accede to the non-proliferation treaty. A virtually identical resolution was adopted in 2009, but the IAEA failed to address Israel’s non-compliance.

The resolution was rejected by 58 nay votes, 45 votes in favor of the resolution and 27 abstentions. Independent analysts estimate that Israel has a stockpile of 200 – 400 nuclear warheads, ranging from megaton sized warheads to suitcase and pineapple sized devices. Israel does not officially recognized that it has a nuclear weapons program at all. The weapons program does not only raise regional and international security concerns and concerns about proliferation, but concerns about serious human rights abuses against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention.

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

While Israel is a member of the IAEA, it denies IAEA inspectors access to its nuclear facility in Dimona. The proposed resolution reiterated serious concerns about Israel’s nuclear capabilities, urged Israel to accede to the non-proliferation treaty (NPT), and to allow IAEA inspectors unimpeded access to its nuclear facilities.

A virtually identical resolution was adopted with a narrow margin in 2009, but Israel continued denying IAEA inspectors access to its nuclear facilities and failed to sign the NPT. The eighteen Arab sponsors who tabled the new resolution on Thursday, denounced particularly Western IAEA member States of double standards and hypocrisy with regard to Israel.

In 2009, the Director-General of the IAEA issued a report with reference to Resolution GC(53)/RES/17, which was adopted on September 18, 2009. The Director-General’s report stressed serious concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons to the security and stability of the Middle East.

Are Palestinian prisoners in Israeli administrated prisons used for human experimentation. Over 50% of detainees in some of the Israeli prisons are suffering from cancer.

Are Palestinian prisoners in Israeli administrated prisons used for human experimentation. Over 50% of detainees in some of the Israeli prisons are suffering from cancer.

The resolution particularly reiterated concerns about Israel’s nuclear capabilities and called upon Israel to accede the NPT and place all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA safeguards. The resolution also urged the  IAEA Director-General to work with the concerned States towards achieving that goal and reiterated the decision to remain seized of this matter. The 2009 resolution also called upon the IAEA Director-General to report on the implementation of the resolution to the Board of Governors and the General Conference at its fifty-fourth regular session under an agenda item entitled “Israeli nuclear capabilities”.

Besides the issues addressed in both the 2009 and the 2014 resolutions, there are other, grave concerns about the Israeli nuclear program and human rights abuses amounting to what some describe as nuclear experimentation on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Anencephalic child. Anencephaly is strongly correlated to exposure to radioactive isotopes.Anencephalic child. Anencephaly is strongly correlated to exposure to radioactive isotopes.

In May 2014, nsnbc published a report, stressing the abnormally high rates of cancer in populations of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli administrated prisons and the urgent need to investigate whether these cancer incidents are caused by waste from Israel’s nuclear and chemical weapons production at the Dimona facility, buried near these prisons.

The Head of the Census Department of the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Ferwana stressed that the Ministry observed that a many as 53.7 percent of the detainees who are incarcerated in the Be’er As-Sabe (Beersheba) Prison, inn Ramon, Nafah as well as in the Negev Detention Camp suffer from cancer. Many of the cancers observed among these prisoner populations are rare forms of cancer which are solidly correlated to exposure to radioactive isotopes. Ferwana stressed that Israel is burying its nuclear waste and waste products from its chemical weapons program near these prison facilities.

Iraq is suffering from an epidemic rise in congenital malformations since the Gulf War and the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons.

Iraq is suffering from an epidemic rise in congenital malformations since the Gulf War and the widespread use of depleted uranium weapons.

The environmental and health impact of Israel’s rogue, un-monitored nuclear and chemical weapons programs are, however, not only limited to Palestinian prisoners. In 2011 the Israeli Haarez newspaper published a report, stressing that 44 employees from the Dimona facility and their families lodged a complain, stating that Dimona workers are suffering from cancer and a cohort of other conditions due to their exposure to radioactive isotopes.

Israel is one of the few countries with a nuclear energy and weapons program that never acceded to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and prevents IAEA inspectors from monitoring its nuclear facilities and stockpiles. Palestinian authorities and eyewitnesses repeatedly stressed that Israel used depleted uranium munitions and so-called Dense Intert Metal Explosives in its military campaigns in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Although it is vehemently denied by e.g. NATO, independent scientific analysis established the contact with residue of depleted uranium weapons cause not only cancer, but the most severe congenital malformations such as observed and documented in Iraq. An Iraqi medical doctor at a hospital in Fallujah described the effect of these weapons saying, “prior to the war, parents asked if it is a boy or a girl, now they ask whether it is normal or not”.

CH/L – nsnbc 27.09.2014


IAEA Board of Governors General Conference “Israeli nuclear capabilities”  GOV/2010/49-GC(54)/14 – Date: 3 September 2010

Articles by: Dr. Christof Lehmann

About the author:

Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at [email protected]

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