Doctor blames health woes on radioactivity
By Khalil Al Assali, Correspondent
Published: April 04, 2008, 00:44
Occupied Jerusalem: According to the founder of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, there is no need for modern technology to prove that nuclear radioactivity is widely found in the southern part of Hebron's villages.
Dr Mahmoud Sa'adeh from Yatta in Hebron to the south of the West Bank said: "This phenomenon appeared in 1986 when inhabitants started to notice the spread of strange diseases in the area without knowing what the cause was. After the nuclear expert Mordechai Vanunu, who worked at the Dimona nuclear reactor declared that there is a leak in radioactivity in Southern Israel, we began to relate these radiations to the increase in cancer cases especially at Al Thahiriyeh, a town only 25 kilometres from the Dimona reactor," he said.
"There are more than 200 different cases of cancer and it has become clear that there is an increase in infertility cases, which reached 65 per cent. In addition, early miscarriages spread and one of the significant cases was when eight women in one neighbourhood miscarried in the span of one day," Dr Sa'adeh told Gulf News.
"I'm a physicist and I've been working for about 30 years in Al Thahiriyeh. I confirm that the cases I witnessed in recent years have no explanation except that of nuclear radioactivity," added Dr Sa'adeh. "Heredity cannot be the sole reason ... because there are deformity cases and cancer among families who are total strangers and from different tribes."
Dr Sa'adeh confirmed that he had been to Jordan and had learnt that Al Karak, an area which is antipodal to the Hebron mountains also suffers from a great percentage of cancer.
"I don't exaggerate when I say that cancer cases have become a daily phenomenon in these areas due to nuclear radioactivity. There are children who are born without hands and others who are born with a deformity in their face or body. Moreover, skin tumours are spreading among people because of these fatal radiations and the men in the villages of South Hebron suffer from a great deal of hair loss," Dr Sa'adeh confirmed in a report that was published last summer about this phenomenon.
The Palestinian Authority has completely refused to discuss the subject considering it dangerous and very sensitive to their security. The Palestinian Authority also refused to undertake an official investigation regarding Dr Sa'adeh's data emphasising that the spread of cancer is not considered a phenomenon.
A statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that cancer is present within the normal average.
"There's an unusual spread of leukaemia in the southern part of the West Bank," confirmed the Israeli doctor Mikha'il Shabira from Hadassah Ein Karim hospital in occupied Jerusalem.
As for Israeli researcher Afnir Finghosh from Ben Gurion University, he emphasised that according to a research published last year, radioactivity results from the existence of radioactive materials like uranium and radon gas.
He also confirmed that this is a phenomenon that includes Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula. "We found that the intensity is 10 times more than the normal average in the groundwater than the radium," said Finghosh.
"The machines used by the energy authority are old," said Dr Khalil Thabayneh who obtained his PhD in nuclear physics and radioactive pollution.
"We carried out botanical studies in the southern part of Hebron, took some samples from the soil, and sent it for examination in Egypt. The tests confirmed that there are areas to the south of Al Thahiriyeh, Yatta, and Al Sumoo' that contain a high percentage of radioactivity and even that some of the percentages are approximately twice over the normal range," Dr Thabayneh told local media.
The question is not whether nuclear radioactivity exists but what Palestinian inhabitants observe daily.
A number of Palestinian citizens believe that there are certain places where the Israeli military buries the nuclear waste, and one of those places according to some citizens is Bani Na'im.
The citizens said that huge Israeli trucks empty their load inside a huge cave with a closed entrance. They claim that they use cement pieces the same colour of the rock to conceal it.
There are children who are born without hands and others who are born with a deformity in their face or body."
Dr Mahmoud Sa'adeh, Founder, Palestinian Medical Relief Society