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Israeli Army To Distribute Radiation Antidote

[No one has so far explicitly questioned the timing of the announcement (Saturday night). Such questioning may be indeed forbidden under Israel's censorship laws. It is noteworthy that the Hebrew Haaretz carries a link to the archived story about Mordechai Vanunu's warning of the Dimona reactor's susceptibility to earthquakes, right nest to this story. Such a link does not appear (at this stage at least) in the English edition. If you are interested the English version is at: - Sol Salbe]

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Last update - 22:46 07/08/2004

Army to distribute radiation antidote

By Nir Hasson, Haaretz Correspondent

The IDF Home Command will start to distribute an antidote to radiation in areas close to the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona on Sunday. The antidote is intended to protect residents from radioactive fallout from any missile attack on the nuclear station, or in case of a reactor accident.

The pills are iodine capsules that reduce the absorption of radioactive iodine and bolster the body's immune system. They will be distributed every day for the two weeks between 4 P.M. and 8 P.M.

The pills will be first distributed in Dimona, Yehorham, Ar'ara and Kseifa, and the unrecognized Beduin villages Al-Hawashla, Abu-Krinat, Al-Azzma and others in the Negev. In the second stage, a few weeks later, the pills will be distributed in Arad and the towns and communities of the Dead Sea and the Arava - Neveh Zohar, Hatzeva, Neot Hakikar, Idan and Tamar.

The mayor of Arad, Motti Brill, objects to the pills being distributed in his town. A former engineer in the Nuclear Research Center, Brill says that based on his personal knowledge of the center, there is no need for Lugol pills and the distribution would seriously damage Arad's image.

Soldiers will provide each family with the pills and a leaflet in Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian and Amharic explaining their purpose and how to keep them. The Home Front Command cautioned people not to open the packages or take the pills unless they get explicit instructions to do so.

Every person will get a pack of five Lugol capsules and family packages will include extra tablets according to the IDF estimate of a family's projected growth in the next five years, a Home Front officer said. Packets of pills will be distributed to public institutions, schools, hotels and plants. "Each citizen will have an extra pill waiting for him somewhere in case the incident happens in the morning when people are not home," the officer said.


[The independent Middle East News Service concentrates on providing alternative information chiefly from Israeli sources. It is generously sponsored by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the AJDS. These are expressed in its own statements]

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