Green group, Nahal soldiers' parents seek court order to close base

Recent reports cite much higher incidence of Hodgkin's lymphoma among Nahal soldiers than general population.

idf soldiers w guns 88 (photo credit: )
idf soldiers w guns 88
(photo credit: )
The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED) and the parents of Nahal soldiers stricken with Hodgkin's lymphoma have petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the IDF to withdraw all personnel from the Nahal training base outside of Arad until an investigation has been completed. The Israeli media broke the story recently that there was a much higher occurrence of cancer amongst Nahal solders between 1994 and 2004 than in the general public. IUED attached several expert opinions pointing to potential sources of pollution: the Arad industrial area, and the city's water treatment facility. IUED head Tzipi Iser Itzik expressed dismay and amazement that the army could sit on reports of such incidences for seven years without doing anything about it. "For seven years, the army has had unequivocal information which pointed to a high rate of cancer amongst the Nahal soldiers. We cannot conceive why the IDF chose to drag its feet instead of immediately taking steps to investigate and discover the cause of the problem and to ensure the safety of the soldiers serving there. "We are asking the court to stop this detrimental behavior in light of the seriousness of the disease and the fact that the victims were IDF soldiers doing their mandatory service," she said in a statement. The High Court on Tuesday ordered the defendants to respond within 30 days to the claims in the suit. The court also ordered the IDF chief medical officer to take all necessary immediate steps in accordance with the data without waiting for the court's decision.