Report: Israel’s Lethal Disposal of Nuclear Waste

Report: Israel’s Lethal Disposal of Nuclear Waste

UN REF: A/HRC/54/NGO/275

Date: 23 August 2023

Title: Israel’s Lethal Disposal of Nuclear Waste


Written statement submitted by The Palestinian Return Centre Ltd, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, to Human Rights Council - Fifty-fourth session, 11 September–13 October 2023, Agenda item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.



The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London submitted this written statement to the UN Human Rights Council entitled “Israel’s Disposal of Lethal Waste” and which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

The statement comes as part of Agenda item 3 entitled “Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development” as part of the Council’s Fifty-fourth session.

“Israel is estimated to have a nuclear stockpile of approximately 90 warheads; while production of plutonium for weapons purposes is thought to be continuing”, said the statement. “On the basis of unconfirmed reports, Israel could be in possession of the nuclear triad for delivery of its nuclear capability.”

PRC warned that Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor may be responsible for the increase in illnesses and still-births in nearby Palestinian populations. It cited physicians and experts who hold the Dimona nuclear reactor directly responsible for the increase in deformities in the area and surrounding Palestinian villages.

One of these experts states the greatest danger to humans from Israel’s nuclear activity is cancer. Elements such as Caesium-137, uranium, and polonium also pose great dangers to children, and can cause cancer and affect the reproductive system, causing infertility in both men and women, causing birth defects and repeated miscarriages. In 2007, an International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War committee documented 280 cases of cancer in Yatta town with a population of approximately 50,000. The same committee documented 200 cases of cancer in the town al Dahiriya, 17km away from the reactor, which had a population of 35,000 at the time of the study. The committee also documented a case of heart cancer in the town, which occurs in five out of each 100,000 people and usually in patients over 50.2

“Israel prevents Palestinian environmental inspectors from visiting areas which residents complain are being used as nuclear dumping grounds by Israel. Additionally, Israel does not allow for the import of equipment that could be used to measure radiation - and it prevents international and UN experts in the field from entering the Palestinian territories”, the statement read.

PRC called upon UN Human Rights Council members to demand Israel cease all nuclear activity in Hebron, and elsewhere it seeks to advance its nuclear activity in the territory, in line with the United Nations efforts to eliminate such weapons ever since their establishment.

PRC also called on Israel to adhere to the vast number of multilateral treaties that have since been established with the aim of preventing nuclear proliferation and testing, while promoting progress in nuclear disarmament. These include the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)4 , with immediate effect.

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