Flashback May 1948: Zionists poison water
supply in Acre, Palestine, and then use poison
gas in Gaza; 1947: Zionists release Cholera in
Egypt and Syria; depopulation of 530
Palestinian villages, etc.....
Traces of poison
Israel's Dark History revealed.
Israel, not Iraq, holds that distinction of
being the first country in the region to uses
weapons of mass destruction with genocidal intent.
Salman Abu-Sitta digs into a dark history
At a time when TV screens are filled with images of
perceived weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq
among people who are on the verge of starvation, the West
turns a blind eye to the first biological terrorist
in the Middle East, Israel, where the largest depot of
WMD between London and Peking is located.
When confronted with the anomaly, the United States
ambassador to the UN, John Negroponti, responds with
typical cynicism, "Israel did not use these weapons
against its people or its neighbours." Assuming that
the ambassador is well-informed, this
statement is a patent lie. Israel used biological
weapons even before it was created on
Arab soil in 1948 and ever since.
The purpose, according to Ben Gurion, is genocide, and
if not complete, the purpose is not to allow the
dispossessed Palestinians to return to their homes.
POISONING ACRE WATER SUPPLY: In the wake of Haifa's
occupation on 23 April 1948 by the Zionists, under
the nose of the British Mandate forces commended by
General Stockwell, a man still historically discredited
for this failure, thousands converged on Acre, a
nearby city, which was still Arab under the
"protection" of the British forces.
Acre was to be the next Zionist target.
The Zionists besieged the city from the land
side, and started showering the population with a hail
of mortar bombs day and night.
Famous for its historical walls, Acre could stand the
siege for a long time. The city water supply comes
from a nearby village, Kabri, about 10kms to the north,
through an aqueduct. The Zionists injected typhoid
in the aqueduct at some intermediate point which
passes through Zionist settlements.
The story can now be toldthanks to the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
files which have now become available, 50 years
after the event. A series of reports,
under the reference G59/1/GC, G3/82, sent by ICRC
delegate de Meuron from 6 May to about
19 May 1948 describe the conditions of the city
population, struck by a sudden typhoid
epidemic, and the efforts to combat it.
Of particular importance are the minutes of an
emergency conference held at the Lebanese
Red Cross Hospital in Acre on 6 May, to deal
with the typhoid epidemic. The meeting was
attended by: Brigadier Beveridge, Chief of
British Medical Services and Colonel Bonnet
of the British Army, Dr Maclean of the Medical
Services, Mr de Meuron, ICRC delegate in
addition to other officials of the city.
The minutes stated that there are at least 70
known civilian casualties, others may not be reported.
It was determined that the infection is "water borne",
not due to crowded or unhygienic conditions as claimed by
the Israelis. It was decided that a substitute water
supply should now come from artesian wells or from
the agricultural station, just north of Acre,
not from the aqueduct. Water chlorine solution was
applied, inoculation of civil population
started, movement of civil population was controlled
(lest refugees heading north
towards Lebanon will carry the typhoid epidemic
with them, as intended by the Zionists).
In his other reports, de Meuron mentioned 55
casualties among British soldiers, who were
spirited away to Port Said for hospitalisation.
General Stockwell arranged for de Meuron
to fly on a military plane to Jerusalem to fetch
medicine. The British, who left Palestine in the
hands of the Jews, did not want another embarrassing
incident to delay their departure.
Brigadier Beveridge told de Meuron that this is
"the first time this happened in Palestine".
This belies the Israeli story, including that of
the Israeli historian Benny Morris, that the epidemic
is due to "unhygienic conditions" of the refugees.
If that was so, how come there was an almost equal
number of casualties among British soldiers? Why
did such conditions not cause epidemic in such other
concentrations of refugees, under far worse conditions,
in Jaffa, Lydda, Nazareth and Gaza?
ICRC delegate, de Meuron admired greatly the heroic
efforts of Arab doctors, Al-Dahhan and Al-Araj from
the Lebanese Red Cross hospital in Acre, Dr Dabbas
from Haifa and Mrs Bahai from Haifa.
The city of Acre, now burdened by the epidemic,
fell easy prey to the Zionists. They
intensified their bombardment. Trucks carrying
loudspeakers proclaimed, "Surrender or
commit suicide. We will destroy you to the
last man." That was not a figure of speech.
Palumbo, in The Palestinian Catastrophe,
notes the "typical" case of Mohamed Fayez
Soufi. Soufi with friends went to get food
from their homes in a new Acre suburb. They
were caught by Zionist soldiers and forced at
gun point to drink cyanide. Soufi faked
swallowing the poison. The others were not
so lucky, they died in half an hour.
Lieutenant Petite, a French UN observer,
reported that looting was being conducted
in a systematic manner by the army, carrying off
furniture, clothes and anything useful for
the new Jewish immigrants and also part of
"a Jewish plan to prevent the return of the
refugees." Lieutenant Petite also reported
that the Jews had murdered 100 Arab civilians
in Acre, particularly those who refused to leave.
More horrors have been reported by de Meuron. He
spoke of "a reign of terror" and the case of the
rape of a girl by several soldiers and killing
her father. He also wrote that all male civilians
were taken to concentration camps and considered
"prisoners of war" although they were not soldiers.
This left many women and children homeless,
without protection, subject to many acts of
violence. He also notes the absence of water
and electricity. He demanded from the Zionists
a list of civilians detained as "prisoners of war",
demanded to know their whereabouts and permission
to visit them.
More importantly he asked that Acre be placed under
ICRC protection and care. Anyone who reads the
familiar dry and matter-of-fact language of
ICRC would not fail to notice the tone of abhorrence
of Zionist actions in de Meuron reports from Acre.
This episode, which started with poisoning Acre water
supply and ended with the collapse
of the city, the depopulation of its inhabitants,
and its occupation by the Jews, whetted their
appetite to try this crime again.
GAZA POISONING: Two weeks later,
after their "success" in Acre, the Zionists struck
again. This time in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands
of refugees had gathered after their villages in southern
Palestine were occupied. The end however was different.
The following cable was sent from the commander of the
Egyptian Forces in Palestine to General Headquarters
"15.20 hrs, 24 May  Our Intelligence forces
captured two Jews, David Horeen and David Mizrahi,
loitering around army positions. They were
interrogated and confessed they had been sent
by Officer Moshe to poison the army [and the
peoples'] water supply. They carried with
them water bottles divided in the middle.
The top part has potable water and the bottom
part has a liquid contaminated with typhoid
and dysentery, equipped with a rear opening
from which the liquid can be released. They
confessed they were members of a 20-strong
team sent from Rehovot for the same purpose.
Both have written their confession in Hebrew
and signed it. We have taken the necessary
In Ben Gurion's War Diary, the following entry is
found on 27 May 1948:
"[Chief of Staff Yigel Yadin] picked up a cable from
Gaza saying they captured Jews carrying malaria germs
and gave instructions not to drink water".
This is typical of Ben Gurion's oblique writing of history.
He was fully aware of the weight of history when
such crimes are discovered. Nuremberg trials were held
only three years before. More on the background of this
cable was given in Yeruham Cohen's book, In Daylight and Night
Darkness, Tel Aviv, 1969, pp66-68 (in Hebrew).
The criminals were executed three months later.
On 22 July 1948, the [Palestinian]
Higher Arab Committee (AHC) submitted a 13-page
report to the United Nations accusing
the Jews of using "inhuman" weapons and waging a
genocide war against the Arabs through the use of
bacteria and germs, developed in specially-built
laboratories. The report also accuses the Jews
(the word Israel was not used) of spreading cholera
in Egypt and Syria in 1947/48. The story was picked
up by the award-winning journalist, Thomas J Hamilton
of the New York Times and published on 24 July 1948.
The story now has a new twist- adding Egypt and Syria
to the Jewish field of operations.
CHOLERA IN EGYPT AND SYRIA:
The summer of 1947 was hot
with diplomatic activity. The United Nations Special
Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was busy touring
Palestine and Arab countries in order to propose the
partition of Palestine such that the new Jewish
immigrants to Palestine, who controlled only six per
cent of Palestine under the British Mandate, be given
a big chunk of Palestine (turned out to be 54 per cent)
in order to establish a foreign state in the
midst of Arab land.
The Arabs, still under the tutelage of Britain,
were debating how to resist the
Western-supported scheme to take away their land.
The forces to reckon with were neighbouring countries
with common borders with Palestine. Lebanon was weak.
Trans-Jordan was still controlled directly by the
British and King Abdullah was conciliatory to the Jews.
This left Egypt, the stronger Arab country and Syria,
recently freed from the clutches of the French Mandate.
Syria was the centre of Arab resistance
to the foreign occupation of Palestine.
Training centres were established in Qatana to prepare Arab
volunteers to enter Palestine under the banner of
"The Arab Rescue Army".
Egypt and Palestine were thus the most important targets.
In his 220-page continually updated report, entitled:
Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The
Illicit Use of Biological Agents since 1900, dated
February 2001, Dr W Seth Carus of the Center for
Counterproliferation Research, National Defence University,
Washington, DC, lists the following subtitle,
p.87: Case 1947-01: "Zionist" Terrorists 1947-1948.
Under this section, he mentions that the cholera outbreaks
in Syria and Egypt received extensive attention in the
international press. The first report about the cholera
in Egypt was published in the Times of London on 26
September, 1947, p4. By the time the final cases appeared
in January 1948, 10,262 people died.
He also states that the outbreak in Syria is much
smaller. It was limited to two towns, about 60 kilometres
south of Damascus, i.e. close to Palestine border. The
first report appeared in the New York Times on 22
December, 1947, p5. The Syrian army formed a cordon
sanitaire and the casualties were limited to 44,
including 18 deaths. Soon after, the Beirut
French-language newspaper, Orient, reported that several
Zionist agents, who employed cholera to disrupt the
mobilisation of the volunteers' army, were arrested.
Their destiny is unknown.
These incidents, together with Gaza poisoning, Carus states,
were described in the AHC complaint to the UN and quotes
the report in saying that:
"The Jews plan to use this inhuman weapon
against the Arabs in the Middle East in their
war of extermination."
Carus adds information from other sources about the
Gaza poisoning. Rachel Katzman, Horeen's sister, Carus stated,
said: "I met one of [my brother's] commanders in a
lecture in Jerusalem. I asked him whether my brother had
really attempted to poison wells. 'These were the weapons
we had', he said, 'and that's that.'"
Carus also adds another source about Acre poisoning:
This source sates, "This account also claims that the
Israelis poisoned the water supply of the Arab town of Acre,
causing a major outbreak, and other Arab villages to
prevent the villagers from returning, citing military
historian Uri Milstein as a source" [Wendy Barnaby, The
Plague Makers: The Secret World of Biological Warfare,
London, Vision Paperbacks, 1997, pp114-116].
The writer has obtained a copy of an e-mail in which an
Israeli peace activist asked Uri Milstein about Acre
poisoning story. Milstein, the military historian, is
described in the e-mail as "very knowledgeable,
intelligent, courageous, original, honest" --
although his views belong to the Israeli far-right (!).
"I am sorry to say it, but the story is true and the name
of the operation was "Shlach Lachmecha" -- that is "donate
your bread", which is a part of Hebrew saying: donate your
bread because sooner or later you will get it back, meaning
you have to be generous and one day, you will profit from it
yourself. Is this not a cute name for an operation to use
HOW DID BEN GURION START ALL THIS?
On the fourth of March
1948, Ben Gurion wrote a letter to Ehud Avriel, one of the
Jewish Agency operatives in Europe, ordering him to
recruit East European Jewish scientists who could
"either increase [our] capacity to kill masses or to cure
masses; both are important". This truncated quotation is
given byAvner Cohen who cited an author in Ben Gurion
Research Centre at Sdeh Boker.
To understand the meaning of this quotation we must
recall Ben Gurion's doctrine: the destruction of the
Palestinian Society in Palestine is a necessary
condition for the establishment of the state of Israel
on its ruins. As a corollary to this doctrine,
ethnic cleansing became an integral part of Zionism.
If Palestinians cannot be removed by massacres and expulsion,
they shall be removed by "extermination". Such words were
specifically used in AHC letter mentioned above.
The significance of this word is that it was rarely used
by Arabs regarding their fate. Europe's horrors were
either remote or not widely known then.
The caveat by Ben Gurion as "to cure the masses" is yet
another twist by Ben Gurion with an eye on history.
For it is inconceivable that the Arabs have the ability or
the will in 1948 to cause "mass killing" of the Jews using
biological weapons. As it happened, Ben Gurion was the
first to use such weapons. His legacy, much more refined
and expanded, remains true till today.
Avner Cohen, a senior fellow at the Center for
International and Security Studies, and the Program
on Security and Disarmaments at the University of Maryland,
wrote a comprehensive paper on Israel's chemical and
biological weapons, which was published in the
Non-Proliferation Review, Autumn 2001. Notwithstanding his
background, which furnishes a sympathetic understanding of
Israel's motives, his paper traces in 50 pages of detail,
from open sources and few interviews, the establishment
and development of Israel's centre for biological terrorism.
Thrusting Israel in the heart of the Arab world,
Ben Gurion was determined to achieve this extraordinary
objective against all odds. "We are inferior to other
peoples in our number, but no other people is superior
to us in intellectual prowess," Ben Gurion remarked.
In the 1940s, he gathered around him Ernst David Bergmann,
Avraham Marcus (Marek) Klingberg (from the Red Army) and the
brothers Aharon and Ephraim Katachalsky (Katzir) -- all
experts in microbiology. They formed the nucleus of the
Science Corps in the Haganah during the British Mandate.
Ephraim Katachalsky was named commander of this new unit,
renamed HEMED, in May 1948. A dispute arose between Chaim
Weizmann who wished to establish a scientific institute
for "clean" science, while Ben Gurion insisted on building
a "dirty" centre for biological weapons. Both got their
wishes realised. Weizmann Institute for scientific
research was built in Rehovot. A new unit within HEMED,
devoted to biological weapons and named HEMED BEIT,
was formed as a branch of the Israeli Army. Its head
was Alexander Keynan, a microbiologist from the medical
school at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
With the depopulation of 530 Palestinian towns and
villages in Al-Nakba of 1948, many buildings and homes
became vacant and over half of the Jewish immigrants
in the 1950s were housed in them. The Chief of Staff
Yigal Yadin selected a home for the new
biological weapons development unit in a mansion located
within a large orange grove west of Nes Ziona. This unit,
publicly known as Israel Institute for Biological Research
(IIBR), is still there today. The building was expanded,
surrounded by a three metre wall, movement sensors and
While IIBR represents the front of a scientific institution,
producing a "clean" papers and receiving invitations to
scientific conferences, the real biological weapons
developed is carried within IIBR in a highly classified
centre (Machon 2, one of four) funded and controlled directly
by the Ministry of Defence. IIBR Web site states that the
institute's staff comprises 300 employees, 120 of them PhD
holders, in addition to 100 certified technicians. But these
figures are misleading because there are many other
scientists who hold positions in microbiology departments
in faculties of medicine in Tel Aviv University and the
Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Ephraim Katzir was rewarded for his service to the state
by being elected as president of Israel in 1973.
Aharon Katzir was killed in the Japanese attack on
Lydda airport on 30 May, 1972.
Soon after the poisoning of Acre and Gaza, Ben Gurion
launched a crash project to develop "a cheap
non-conventional capability" in 1955. Why the rush?
As Cohen reports, Munya Mardor, the founder of Israel's
Weapons Development Authority (RAFAEL), says that Ben
Gurion was "evidently concerned that we would not meet
the deadline he had set, worrying that the enemy would
have such capability and we would have nothing to deter
or retaliate". It turned out that the rush was to meet
the deadline for the Suez Tripartite Aggression of 1956.
Ben Gurion was prepared to bomb Egypt with biological
weapons if his campaign failed. As if that was not enough,
Israel signed an agreement with France to build a nuclear
programme in the same year. Ben Gurion's emissary to France
was none other than the peace-loving diplomat Shimon Pensky
Anver Cohen says that the location of IIBR is classified
and not shown on maps or aerial photographs. It is still
possible, however, to determine its location with accuracy.
WHERE IS IIBR? In the 1930s, the road from Ramleh to
Nabi Rubin, a popular religious
site visited annually, passes through Wadi Hunein, a
good sandy soil with spots of marshes. The wealthy
Al-Taji Al-Farouki family from Ramleh purchased large
tracts of this land and developed it into successful
citrus groves which exported hundreds of
thousands of Jaffa orange boxes to Europe.
Shukri Al-Taji built for himself a beautiful mansion
(photo) -- a two-storey rectangular building on top of
a hill, on a plot of land, 134,029 m2 in area.
The plot number is 549/32 and the property deed is entered
in the Land Registry under E42/260 on 16 March 1932.
He also built a mosque on the asphalt road from Jaffa
to Qubeiba. On another hill, one kilometre to the west,
his cousin Abdel-Rahman Hamed Al-Taji built a house which
consists of several buildings. The mansions in the midst
of vast orange groves depicted an idyllic
scene in quiet surroundings.
This is the location chosen by Yigal Yadin for his
biological weapons research. Shukri Al Taji mansion
became the home of IIBR. The IIBR Web site
(www.iibr.gov.il) proudly shows on the opening page
its building entrance, which is nothing but Shukri's
mansion with its arched façade and tall lush trees
(compare with photo). Shukri died broken hearted
in Cairo some ten years later.
If you drive from Nes Ziona going west on road 4303,
then turn left at road 42 heading south, you will find
IIBR at your right at a distance of 500 metres.
(see photo of the location). The coordinates of IIBR are:
According to Palestine/ Israel grid
: 128.263 E, 147.022 N
New Israel grid : 178.263 E, 647.022 N
Geographical coordinates : E 34D 46' 27 N 31D 55' 7
The area is called "Ayalon" in Hebrew.
Directly to the west on the sea coast is the
missile launching pad of Palmahim.
Other Al-Taji buildings were expropriated and used.
The mosque is transformed into a
synagogue, named "gulat Israel". Abdel-Rahman's
house became a mental hospital.
CHASING THE CULPRITS:
Sara Leibovitz-Dar is a persistent investigative journalist.
The trauma experienced by her parents in their native
Lithuania left an indelible mark on
her. She abhorred injustice and, particularly, the meek
acceptance of it. She investigated the Gaza and Acre
poisoning and shooting down of the civilian Libyan
aircraft. The Israeli military historian,
Uri Milstein, identified for her the names of
the officers responsible for biological crimes.
In 1993, Sara tried to interview the commander who
was responsible for Acre poisoning.
He refused to talk. "Why do you look for troubles that
took place 45 years ago?" he
asked. "I know nothing about this. What would you
gain by publishing?"
Again, Sara interviewed the officer responsible for Gaza
poisoning. He refused to respond, "You will not get answers
on these questions. Not from me and not from anyone."
Sara was persistent. She asked Colonel Shlomo Gur, former
HEMED chief, whether he was aware of the secret operations
in 1948. "We heard about the typhoid epidemics in Acre
and about the Gaza operations. There were many rumours but
I did not know whether they were true or not," he responded.
Sara published her findings in Hadashot under the title
"Microbes in State Service", on 13 August, 1993, pp6-10. Sara,
who now moved to Ha'aretz, concluded with the following comment,
"What was done then with deep conviction
and zealotry is now concealed with shame."
True to the Israeli tradition, Sara declined twice
to respond by e-mail to an enquiry from the writer.
Not all are afraid to talk. Naeim Giladi is an Iraqi
Jew who was lured to Israel by Mossad agents in the
early 1950s. Working with the zealotry and dedication
of a new Zionist, he soon found out that within the
Ashkenazi establishment "there was not much opportunity
for those of us who were second class citizens", he told
the editor of The Link in New York where he immigrated
after leaving Israel. "I began to find out about the
barbaric methods to rid the fledgling state of as many
Palestinians as possible. The world recoils today at the
thought of bacteriological warfare, but Israel was
probably the first to actually use it in the Middle East.
Jewish forces would empty Arab villages of their
population often by threats, sometimes by gunning down a
half-dozen young men so that the Arabs could not return.
The Israelis put typhus and dysentery bacteria in the
water wells to prevent the refugees from returning".
[The Link, Vol. 31 Issue 2, April-May 1998].
Another witness who spoke, former Mossad agent, Victor
Ostrovsky, claims that lethal tests have been performed on
Arab prisoners inside the IIBR compound.
THE DUTCH INVESTIGATION: On 4 October, 1992 at
6.21pm, El Al Flight 1862 left Amsterdam's Schiphol airport
on route to Tel Aviv, carrying three crewmen, one
passenger and 114 tons of freight. Seven minutes later,
it crashed in a high-rise apartment complex in Bijlmer.
El Al Flight 1862 became the worst air disaster in Dutch
history, killing at least 47 (the actual number is unknown
because many victims were immigrants) and destroyed the
health of 3000 Dutch residents. Cases of mysterious
illnesses, rashes, difficulty in breathing, nervous
disorders and cancer began to sprout in that neighbourhood
The Dutch government, in collusion with Israel, lied to
its citizens saying the plane was carrying perfumes and
flowers. Some flowers! It took the energetic and persistent
science editor in the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, Karel
Knip, several years to discover the facts. Knip published
on 27 November 1999 the most detailed and factual
published investigation about the workings of biological
terrorism housed in IIBR.
First he found out that the plane was carrying 50
gallons, among other things, of DMMP a substance used
to make a quarter ton of the deadly nerve gas Sarin,
20 times as lethal as cyanide. It was carrying a
shipment from Solkatronic Chemicals of Morrisville,
Pennsylvania to IIBR in Israel, under a US Department
of Commerce licence. This is contrary to the Chemical
Weapons Convention (CWC) to which the US, but not
Israel, is party.
With dogged determination, Knip reviewed the scientific
literature produced by IIBR and the microbiology
departments of the Faculty of Medicine in the University
of Tel Aviv and the Hebrew University since 1950. He was
able to identify 140 scientists involved in biological
weapons (BW) research. The number could be more as
scientists have dual positions or they move around.
Many take their sabbaticals invariably in the United
States. There are strong links with Walter Reed Army
Institute, the Uniformed Services University, the
American Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) Center
in Edgewood and the University of Utah.
Remarkably, Knip was able to identify three categories
of IIBR production: diseases, toxins and convulsants,
and their development in each decade of the
five past decades.
The research moved from virus and bacteria to toxins
because they are many times more
poisonous. Nerve gases known as Tabun, Soman, Sarin,
VX, Cyclo-Sarin, RVX and Amiton are all deadly gases
and function in the same way.
Knip went further. He sought the assistance of
experts in this field such as Professor Julian
Perry Robinson, University of Sussex, Brighton,
Dr Jean Pascal Zanders of SIPRI, Stockholm and
Professor Malcolm Dando, University of Bradford.
They guided his research and explained his findings.
Knip also discovered close cooperation between IIBR
and the British-American BW
programme. This programme deals with viruses and
bacteria spread by rodents and insects and covers
smallpox, fungal diseases and Legionnaires disease.
It is to be noted that there was a breakout of this
disease in Philadelphia some years ago, and, surprisingly,
in an Eilat hotel in mid- January this year.
The interest in the plant poison Elate-Ricin is confined to very
few institutions beside IIBR. It will be recalled that amateur
biologists were arrested in UK in January attempting
to prepare Ricin.
The novel and dangerous trend in BW research in
IIBR is the development of incapacitants which
paralyse, disorient, cause uncontrollable movements
and severe pain in the stomach. Most of these
incapacitants have antidotes to repair the damage done.
These incapacitants have been and are used against the
Palestinians in the Intifada.
There is also extensive collaboration on BW research
with Germany and Holland. That is probably the reason
for the Dutch official silence over the deadly crash
The cooperation with the US is quite open. The Congress
"Joint Medical, Biological and Nuclear Defence Research
Programs" openly lists cooperation with Israel on nerve
agents and convulsants under the guise of finding antidotes.
It is plainly simple to realise that in order to develop the
antidote it is necessary to identify the poison itself. Dr
Avigdor Shafferman, IIBR director, is a frequent contributor
to this programme.
The Preparatory Commission for the Organisation for
the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) in The Hague turns a blind eye to the Israeli
criminal activities. Ironically,
Israeli researchers guide OPCW on methods to detect
Chemical Weapons. Israeli
researchers R Barak, A Lorber and Z Boger of IIBR,
CHEMO Solutions and Rotem Industries
respectively propose methods to detect chemical
warfare agents. No international body
seems to be willing to apply these methods on Israel.
The mechanism to do this monitoring is available.
The American Armed Forces Medical
Intelligence Center has the wherewithal to
inspect suspect laboratories. But it is
unlikely to see a team of inspectors headed by an
American Blix searching the secret
chambers of IIBR.
This may, however, not apply to conscientious
scientists. Professor Keith Yamamoto, of
the University of California and Dr Jonathan King of
MIT criticised the American BW
research and showed that attempting to modify
toxins (as IIBR does) can hardly be
considered "defensive" research. But Israel's turn in
such criticism seems far-off at present.
THE PALESTINIAN VICTIMS:
The biological crimes perpetrated against the
Palestinians in Acre and Gaza in 1948 are still
being enacted today.
In 1997, Mossad agents tried to assassinate Khaled Mish'al,
Hamas Political Bureau's director in Amman. King Hussein
was furious at the blatant violation of Jordan's
sovereignty and of the Peace Treaty with Israel.
As the attempt failed, thanks to Mish'al's bodyguard,
Israel sent a lady doctor with the antidote. The
toxin used is likely to be SEB applied through a special
gun which has a range of 50 metres. and could inject the
toxin in the neck.
The stories about nerve gas applied against school children
abound. So are the cases in which CBW are used. Neil
Sammonds lists these cases:
ï Chemical defoliants against Palestinian crops in
Ain Al- Beida in 1968, Aqraba in
1972, Mejdel Beni Fadil in 1978 and Negev in 2002.
ï Chemical Weapons, including hydrogen cyanide, nerve
gas and phosphorous shells in the 1982 war on Lebanon.
ï Lethal gas against Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners.
But the case which was widely publicised all over the world
and fully documented by
several international NGOs is the application of
incapacitants, particularly in Khan
Younis, in February 2001. The pictures of victims
twisting with severe pain and uncontrollable convulsions
were splashed on TV screens everywhere.
James Brooks of "Just Peace in Palestine/Israel" gave
a detailed account of this BW attack on civilians day by
day as it happened. First, the victims thought it was tear
gas. It had a faint odour like mint. It smelled "like sugar",
one victim reported. It changed colour "like a rainbow".
Fifteen minutes later, the victim felt that his
"stomach was torn apart, with burning sensation in
[his] chest, could not breathe". Soon
convulsions started. The victim would jump up and down,
left and right, thrashing limbs
around, with a kind of hysteria. Some victims were
unconscious. The victim would vomit
incessantly and then pain would return. This would go on
for days or, for some, weeks. In addition to the numerous
press and human rights reports, convulsing poison gas
victims in Khan Younis were filmed by the American
filmmaker James Longley, in a documentary that "pushes
the viewer headlong into the tumult of the Israeli- occupied
Gaza". Longley compiled a 43-page document of interviews
with 19 gas victims, their relatives, nurses and doctors.
These devilish incapacitants drew the protest of some NGOs
but little else. No international investigation or
censureship of any kind, even though this was repeatedly
used in March in Al- Birch, Nablus and West Bank and yet
again in Gaza later that month.
Just the contrary. There was a wide-spread Zionist-
orchestrated condemnation and disapproval when, in
November 1999, Suha Arafat, the president's wife,
charged the Israelis with the use of "poison gas" in
the presence of the aspiring politician Hillary Clinton.
The height of hypocrisy and cynicism was attained when
the incensed Israeli authorities declared that Suha's
factual statement is "a violation of the peace process"!
There are as yet unseen and long-term effects of toxins
and incapacitants. On 3 February, 2003, Dr Khamis
Al-Najjar, director of Cancer Research Centre of the
Ministry of Health in Ramallah reported an alarming
increase in cancer cases, especially among women and
children. The report covers the period 1995-2000 and
shows 3646 cases, with more than half among females.
The cases in Gaza are more than the West Bank. The
report, citing the rate of increase, predicts that cases
will triple in the near future.
Taking note of the Israelis' paranoia about Palestinian
demography and judging by their previous record, it is
possible that the accumulative effect of the Israeli
application of toxins and incapacitants has produced
the increased incidence of cancer cases. A similar
study is yet to be made on fetus and newborn babies.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Israel has signed but not
ratified the Chemical Weapons
Convention and is not a party to the Biological
Weapons Convention. Israel does not
recognise the application of the Fourth Geneva
Convention on the Occupied Palestinian
Territories of the West Bank and Gaza, as the rest
of the world does. This is not
surprising. Israel violates every rule in the book.
Article 147 of the Geneva Convention stipulates that
to "willingly cause [civilians]
great suffering or serious injury to body or health" is a
"grave breach", which, according to Article 146, requires
all High Contracting Parties to "search for persons
alleged to have committed or to have ordered to commit
such grave breaches" and must "bring such person regardless
of their nationality before their own courts". If this is
applied, Sharon and his officers will stand behind bars in a
Belgian court for a long time.
There is a plethora of conventions which Israel constantly
violated, starting with Geneva Protocol of 1925 on Poisonous
Gas to the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of
the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of
Chemical Weapons. With this background, it seems a mockery
of justice to dispatch hundreds of inspectors to destroyed
workshops and private homes in Iraq, while huge tons of
weapons of mass destruction are staring them in the eye
in Israel. Perhaps the 10 million people in 600
cities around the world who demonstrated against the war
on Iraq on 15 and 16 February were trying to point out
this irony in refusing this war. Some placards said so
in clear terms.
Perhaps the domestic voice in Israel may be listened to more
attentively. The Mayor of Nes Ziona, located a mere 10
kilometres away from Tel Aviv centre, complained that the
proximity of IIBR to his city poses a great danger to the
population, in case of accident. He is right. The Science
Committee in the Knesset reported 22 casualties including three
fatal cases in the last 15 years. But these were mild cases.
What would be the situation if a big accident happens
on a windy day, causing explosion of tons of toxics and its
evaporation in the sky, in a congested neighbourhood,
where three million people live in an area of barely
1000sqkms, that is 35X35 km? Ben Gurion,
while cooking his evil plans to "exterminate" the Arabs,
did not envisage this scenario
in his wildest dreams.
The writer is president of
Palestine Land Society, London.
Yersinia pestis (plague)
Rickettsia species (typhus)
West Nile virus
Leptospira species (e.g. Weil's disease)
Cryptococcus neoformans (a yeast)
Newcastle disease (birds)
African Swine fever
Coxiella burnetti (Q fever)
Western Equine encephalomyelitis
Semliki Forest virus
Brucella abortus (brucellosis)
Pasteurella multocida (fowl cholera)
Rift Valley fever
Marek's disease (poultry)
Coccidioides immitis (fungus)
SEB (Staphylococcus enterotoxin B)
1. Cobra venom
SEA (Staph.enterotoxin A)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A Shiga Toxin
1. Chlorpromazin (anti-psychoticum)
Benzodiazepin derivatives (convulsants)
Cannabis derivatives (amino-cannabinoida)