Israel/Porat: "Das Todesdorf" - Erschütternde Reportage der größten israelischen Tageszeitung
Quelle: "Yediot Ahronot", Israels größte Tageszeitung, 14.3.2003
By Shosh Mula and Ofer Petersburg - Übersetzung ins Deutsche von Iris Atzmon
In Israels größter Tageszeitung Yediot Ahronot ist am Samstag eine mehrseitige ausführliche Reportage über Häufungen von schweren Krankheitshäufungen, insbesondere Leukämie und Gehirntumor, in der Nähe eines starken Rundfunksenders ("Hillel") erschienen. Dieser wurde 1962 errichtet, 1999 wurde die Strahlungsemission reduziert, 2002 wurde der Sender ganz abgeschaltet. Für viele Menschen leider viel zu spät. Nach dem Bericht wurden die Grenzwerte eingehalten. Der Anwalt David Mena vertritt 40 Krebsopfer oder deren Angehörige, inzwischen sind weitere 20 Fälle dazugekommen. 25 Menschen von jung bis alt, starben inzwischen an den Folgen, die meisten an Leukämie und Gehirntumor, fast in allen Fällen schritt die Krankheit sehr schnell fort. Die Zeitung hat 40 Opfer bzw. deren Angehörige detailliert befragt und die Fakten gesammelt. Wissenschaftler bestätigten deutlich erhöhte Krebsraten.
Kompletter Artikel auf Englisch:
In the entrance to Porat village
in the Sharon [an area in the center of Israel]
there are chickens running looking for wheat grain.
A sleepy dog troubles them once in a while, and returns to sleep in the corner.
From the houses in the green fields rises pleasant smell of dishes.
Nothing in this harmony implies what happens inside.
"It's like the death angle visited here house after house, and left ruin and destruction", says
lawyer David Mena, who represents 40 of the village residents, who got cancer
misteriously, all of them in the last 15 years.
Most of them suffer from tumors in the head and leukemia.
25 residents, from elder to youth, died until now from the disease.
During the investigation, 20 more residents were added to the list of the cancer
patients, who were not included in the first patient counting.
In Porat there are 91 farms. Half of them were hurt from the disease.
Porat residents hang the blame on the transmittion station called "Hillel" of the
broadcast authority and Bezeq [the wired phones company of Israel], which is
only 1.5 km from the cooperative village.
They claim that during the 60's, 70's and 80's, when there was not awareness
in Israel and in the world to the non-ionizing radiation subject, the village
people and the farmers were exposed to very high levels of radiation, which caused them the illness.
The head of radiation and noise arm in the environmental department, Dr. Stilian Galberg:
"This is true that there was no supervision on Hillel station untill 1992.
The measurements were done only to verify that Bezeq workers were not exopsed to radiation
above the standard, and there were no measurements in the villages
[we are talking about 4 villages near those antennes, also Zoran, another village, has high
cancer rate] until the environmental department was established".
Bezeq and the broadcasting authority deny responsibility to the radiation and its damages,
and roll this hot potato to one another.
Porat residents will have to go fighting in this battle alone.
Porat village was established in the 50's by immigrants from Tripoli,
there are today 450 residents.
In 1962 the station was established, for receiving and transmitting radio broadcasts
to the arab countries and the east.
The station is on 1000 dunam area.
4 villages are close to the station: Porat(east), Ein Vered and Ein Sarid(south), Zoran(north).
all the 12 anetnnes are directed to Porat's direction.Radiation Monitoring began only in the 90's.
2 transmitters are on short waves,
2 medium waves.
The tomatoes sang
Porat's farmers worked in the
farms for years and didn't suspect anything.
Short time after the transmitters were there, strange things started to happen,
says Heim Hadad, chair village comettee, who serves also as national flowers growers
secretary: "Today we make a living mainly from growing and marketing flowers to other countries,
but in the 60's 70's and 80's we were only growing there tomatoes, oranges, vegetables.
there were strings to pumping water, and in the middle of work we suddenly heard the tomatoes singing. We went crazy.
'Where does this come from?', and when we bent over,
we saw that the string which is made from metal play music.
In fact all the support pylons of the plants, including the watering hozes, were using as transmitters
and there was arab music playing from them.
At first it was scary, and then we got used to it".
Also to neighbours it happened. Hein Hasan:
"We were growing vegetables in the near field, and the strings were dancing with east music".
Baruch Aloni, the former village comittee chairman:
"we were getting close to the fence, and head music from the iron.
When we were praying in the Synagogue, we heard songs from the colunms songs in arabic,
seriously, every colum playing".
Daniel Hasan: "My hothouse was singing, as if specially for me. Just like I am talking to you from here.
Arabic song. All the hothouse colums like an orchestra.
I get near every colum and hear in low volium, don't nead a radio".
What did the radiation do to the
Rahamin Hajaj: "We had citrus grove in the antennes area,
and the oranges would come out malformed. Big. Each one in a
size of a grapefruit.
Around the tree were singing colunms.
There were times when I would put my ear on them and hear arabic radio.
And it still exists.
3 years ago I was working there. Until today I hear
ringing in the ears when I work there".
Hadad: Anything which had to grow in the winter, grew in summer
The growings that were close to the antennes were ripe first.
There are plants that it's very significants when they grow up.
For example the wax flower. This is an australian bush that was adopted here
and we compete on it with the dutchs.
So everybody has it in February-March, and in the antennes area it flourishes
already in January.
The growing time is critical for marketing".
The radiation thing distorted our lives", adds Sami Harosh.
"We live behind the antennes. Our farm is the closest to there.
So electricity equipment was distorted all the time.
The air conditions were turned on and off by themselves.
Also the phones were distorted. The line was gone".
Daniel Hasan: One day the electricity system was distroted in my house.
The electricity man goes like:"your earthing doesn't work.
You have 4 watts without electricity, instead of zero that should be".
Rahamim Hajaj: "When we were picking the phone up, there were all the time noises and arabic
Hadad: "Until today we have reception problems.
no reception of cellular phones.
Before the cables, during the antennes period, the radio and tv were going
crazy. The received only arab broadcasts. We thought they were doing that on purpose".
The ghosts in the vilage attacked also guests.
Baruch Aloni tells:
"There was a guy working on the milk truck, everytime he came to the
antennes area, the windscreen wipers were working automatically.
One day he got sick of it and he took out the accumulator.
The wind screen wipers kept working anyway"
The computer went crazy
The wierd complaints of Porat residents
didn't get treatment and attention
of the authorities for years.
But on their worst nightmares they didn't imagine to themselves that
the cause of that was the antennes radiation, and of course they didn't imagine that
30% of them would get cancer.
The first time that the authorities admitted that there was radiation emitted from the
station, was 8 years ago.
The farmer Daniel Hasan filed a compensation lawsuit of the
radiation damage to his watering system and won.
Following that case, there was the first time awareness and understanding about the issue
among the residents in Porat.
In a compromise agreement with the state, in which Hasan was compensated,
He was requested to keep silent and not expose the admittion abuot the radiation
effect. But after his father had died from cancer, he understood that the radiation
can not only damage electronic devices and decided to stop being silent.
Now he is waiting that the lawyer will invite him to be a witness in the first
residents' lawsuit, which is going to be filed in the next weeks to the court.
"I ordered an automatic watering computer from the company "Motorola",
Three days after I came, and saw that all the chemical fertilizer which
was supposed to be enough for 2 months, was gone.
I said to myself: "This is not possible. Either someone stole my stuff or
something was broken there, because this is through watering system.
I filled again with fertilizer, two days after I came to the field, and saw it was too wet.
What turns out to be?
Instead of 2 cubes of water aday, the computer gave 20 cubes.
"The computer drove me nutz like this for a month.
Did what it felt like.
I invited the company service man, he checked and told me: 'I don't
understand what's going on here' and left.
Two days after I invite him again.
He dismantled the computer, took it to the lab and
gave me back: 'your computer is 100% ok'
But the problems didn't stop.
So they brought me an expert from Motorola.
He checks and tells me' Listen, something like this I have never seen in my life.
I took it of the electricity, and your computer gives electric pulses by itself'. He said'
it needs to be taken by pieces' he dismantled it and put in the computer
something that neutrilized radiation.
Only then everything as ok'.
Then I stared to file a lawsuit against Motorola.
That they did not see that the computer went crazy.
I got 12,000$.
Motorola, then, sued Bezeq third side,
because of the radiation, and they settled with money.
Hasan's story didn't finish with
the computer going crazy.
Four years ago his father died, Heim Hasan, who suffered from malignant
tumor in the head.
"My father used to work for 25 years in the antennes area, and until today
we have fields 200 meters from the antennes.
There are hothouses on them. My father was a very strong and healthy man.
When he died, we didn't make the link between
his illness and the fact that he used to work almost inside the antennes.
But after the continuity of the houses near us, where people got sick,
we strated to believe strongly that this is the reason.
The muderous line
Daniel Hasan'sfamily lives in an area who won the name
"the murderous line". It is 2 lines of farms parallel to the antennes.
Shiverly, every house there was affected by cancer.
The residents there are the first to sue.
"We live in farm 53", says Hasan.
"My neighbour on the right died from brain cancer and now her
granchild is also sick with cancer.
My neighbour on the left, farm 51,
also died from cancer.
in farm 54, 2 brothers died. there is no farm 55, in farm 66 near it,
died another woman who suffered the illness.
All of these are only in the first row on the line.
Behind them, probably the death angle got already crazy from the
radiation and started to skip among the houses".
In farm 52 Heim Zigdon, experienced
First died his mother, Samina Zigdon, from cancer,
and after her his baby got sick - developed malformations.
In a conversation with them, the couple Zigdon reveals
that it is hard for them to deal with the situation.
"My parents live 1 km from the antennes" he says.
"We live 300 meters from the antennes.
Since the 60's my family worked in the fields.
My parents worked in radius of 30 meters from the antennes.
In April 99 my mother gor cancer suddenly and died within half a year.
We didn't link it to the antennes then, but when I see the
many cases which are really exaggerated, it's imopossible to shut up.
You don't think about it at all, until it touches you".
Shoshi Zigdon: "Heim and I lived
in Tel Mond for 9 years, and all my 4 children were born
there. We came to Porat in '96, and in January 99 the baby was born.
In the beginning everything went good.
In age of 1 year and 3 monthes, suddenly came out a monstrous molar tooth,
we didn't understand where it came from.
His left side of the face was distorted, all the inter structure of the eye
turned round, and he had a terrible squint.
He was scared to look on himself in the shower,
he turend his head away and would start crying.
He had blood tears, and I was scared myself.
When I took him to the doctor they told me I was imagining.
We took him then to the dentist, to take out the molar tooth.
We were sent to hospital, and an eye doctor sent him to C.T.
All the C.T picture was black like carbon.
We went to "Shneider" hospital and we were informed he had
malignant tumor in the eye chimney.
This area cannot be operated, so we went to chemotherapy for 2 years".
The wall where he slept since he was born, is directed to the antenne, that could be the reason.
This is a crime what goes on here. These antennes should be completely out.
and how is the baby now?
Zigdon bursts into tears: "5000 shekels [1000$] we pay every month for drugs for preventing his illness,
and now they informed us they found something new which sits in his stomach
and this is the fear I am in all my life.
Last sunday I collapsed.
I cried for 3 hours. What, the disease again?
again to go through this?"
Zigdon's neighbours from farm 51
lost the mother Jamila Hajaj in October 95.
The grandchild Honi, 35 years old: Within one month the cancer killed her.
We didn't digest she was sick, and then she was dead.
she was 68. All the years we had flower market in front of the antennes.
Baruch Aloni lost 2 brothers. they
live in the radiation line.
"in '79 my brother died from stomach cancer. 3 years he got chemotherapy and radiations.
We said- it's from god. We didn't make a link to the antennes, until my other brother
got cancer. Last year he died, 53 years old.
We have 80 dunam near the antennes but they are not worked on anymore.
We are afraid to go near antennes"
Rahamim Hajaj from farm 46
lost 2 brothers and father
Now it is found out that his mother also sick.
"We live on the second row of the murderous line.
My older brother Yossi was 11 when he got leukemia.
He passed away some years after.
Also my brother Eliahu died from leukemia when he was 10.
My father had cancer in the bowel and colon,
now my mother , 73, has skin tumor.
How do you explain that?
I think we were naive and we were fooled.
I remember from young age that we played (with the brothers)
near the fence and heard music from the pylons.
Until today I have very troubling ringings in the ears.
We are simple people, so they fooled us.
Only when the sophisticated people from Zoran came
and made noise, they lowered the radiation level.
But what about what we absorbs all the years?
Why didn't anybody explain us?
In spite of the fears, he continues to work near the antennes.
"I don't have choice, I have to make a living, and the council says they lowered the radiation
level. So I put a sock hat and gloves , work as fast as I can and come back home".
Also Samina Hasan from farm 66 near
Hajaj family died.
Her son Heim Hasan: "Our field was near the antennes, and my mother
grew vegetables there until she died, 10 years ago.
She was a healthy woman, mother of 9, 5 of them live in the village.
Within half a year since the brain cancer was revealed, she died, 58 years old.
Like all, we didn't link it to the radiation but after so many cases in the murderous line
and in the village we understood that.
How is the feeling to live today in a place like this?
The farms are abandoned today because of the fear to get near the antennes.
We in the familty don't want to get near there, because of the fear.
I myself work in another village, 7-8 km from there, just not to be near the antennes.
In the near house, lives D"N the only one who doesn't want to
expose his name.
"I live here from 1967, married and a father of 7.
They came and stuck the antennes in front of us. We were naive.
Nobody thought to resist. What did we know about it anyway?
We were new immigrants and we accepted everything we were told.
Who thought on dangers?
One day I felt punctures in the neck.
They made biopsy and they found a tumor.
Lymphoma. They gave me radiations which hurt my health.
The doctor who treated me in told me it maybe had to do with the antennes,
and then I saw that also my friends were hurt.
"I feel live-dead. I look like 70 years old.
Nobody gives my real age.
Every half a year I come to the hospital, and this is every time to fear again:
How long will they say is left me to live".
What do the experts say?
The list of sick and dead in Porat gets longer and longer.
We have 40 interviews with patients or relatives of the dead,
for the lawsuit.
During making the article 20 more were added.
Most cases are leukemia and brain cancer.
Other residents complained on high rate of brain bleedings,
also constant pains in the ears weaker/stronger- depends
on the broadcasts from the station.
the proof of link to the station or not, will be clear in the court.
Dr Eliahu Richter, head of the environmental medicine unit in the hebrew university , Jerusalem:
"The proof burden is on the people who creat the radiation exposure to prove that it was not dangerous,
and not on the residents themselves.
This is in view of the fact that radiation near radio towers is able to cause high rates
of brain cancer and leukemia".
Dr Richter was invited by the residents to check Porat.
"We have to remember that in small villages with homogenic population
it is hard to estimate statistics, because there are always exeedings up or down.
But it doesn't say that there is not a problem in the village.
As far as I know the exposure levels here were very very high, and this is defenetly a cause for concern".
What has to be done to reduce the risks until the court decides?
There is no need to wait to analysis of results to reduce exposure level.
There is professional litrature which indicates that the electromagnetic radiation from radio towers
indicates on higher rate of certain tumors in those areas.
Mainly head and blood. Because this is the situation in Porat, it can indicate on a dangerous situation here.
Do you think there is a basis for a lawsuit here?
I am checking and it will take time,
but there is certainly a basis for lawsuits on the basis of precautionary principle.
There is no need to wait until bodies counting and see if there is or isn't a problem.
Dr Benny Melnik, the chair of the
of the israeli association for occupational sanitation and lecturer on
of safey occupational and environmental health in Tel Aviv university, checked for
the lawyer the effects of the radiation from the station on Porat residents:
"In my professional opinion, due to the high exopsure levels to EMF radiation the link to
the cancer frequncy among Porat residents should be recognized in different ages, different parts
of the body, mainly head, among them babies and young men who got leukemia".
Melnik enclosed to his report different researches, which indicate on the link between high levels of radiation
and cancer development, neurological problems and other problems from the radiation.
He says it can explain the high frequency of brain bleedings in the village.
The village runs two lawsuits- the health deterioration, and the reduction in property value
because of the fear of radiation. That was the original reason they called the lawyer David Mena.
David: "I feel like in the movie of Julia Roberts "Erin Brokoviz".
A village representative came to me with the claim that the village wants to build commercial center on the 800
dunam in the area of the station. But no contractor wants to invest in the project because of the antennes.
Half a duman in Zoran costs 100,000$ and here also in 10,000$ nobody wants to buy.
The 800 dunam, worth 35 million dollars cannot be used because nobody wants to own the land.
Mena got into his car and came to the vilage.
"I met with the residents in a council room and we started talking.
And then I hear that -that one got cancer, and his neighbour also,
and the neighbour of the neighbour and so on, and I had darkness in my eyes.
You hear about a case or two a year, but not in such scary amount.
I started checking, and I saw it was the same disease, and the tumors almost in the
same places. And there are 12 antennes in the background.
"2.5 years my office has been working like detectives.
We checked also the other villages, here it is really abnormal.
My heart ached to see they were not aware of this situation.
Good simple people. The authorities fooled them all the years.
They were absorbing high uncontroled radiation since the 60's,
and only in the 90's because of Zoran making noise, they measuerd and lowered the radiation level.
Mena decided to sue Bezeq and the broadcast authority after he failed in arriving to a settlement with them
on the economic and health damage.
The CEO of the broadcast authority at the time, Ran Galinka
responded him that "The broadcast authority is not the right factor to
direct the claims to. It doesn't own the transmitters and they are not maintained by it,
but by Bezeq. The radiation level is monitored by Bezeq under direction of the
environmet department supervision.
Bezeq rejected all the claims of the village people by lawyer Hillel Ish-Shalom, and claimed that
the village tries to receive in an inappropriate way money they do not deserve by directing
The company says they activate the station by the broadcast requires and by law, and the
other authorities are responsible for the activity of the station.
The court will have to decide, "but until them", says lawyer Mena, "We hope that no more cancer
cases will be exposed, or we will have to say good bye forever to more patients".
In Frames near the article:
The 11 list:
1. Yossef Hasan, 58 years
old, leukemia, started 1999, died 1999
2. Samina Zigdon, 75 years old, brain cancer, started 4/99, died 12/99 on the murderous line.
3. Moshe Zigdon, 4 years old head (eyes chimney) started 4/99 on the "
4. Sarah Hajaj, 43 years old, liver cancer since 7/99 died 1/2000 "
5. Heim Hasan age 71, lungs and liver since 1/99, died 12/1999 "
6. Behor Hajaj, age 56, brain cancer, since 11/99 died 2001.
7. Halifa Gueta, age 67, leukemia, since 8/99 died 7/2000 on the line
8. Refael Hajaj, age 29, brain cancer, since 2/99 died 6/2000.
9. Hana Hasan, age 68, brain cancer, since 11/99, died 4/2002 on the line.
10. H"R, age 28, brain cancer, since 2002.
11. Zohara Hajaj, age 73, skin cancer, since 2002, on the line.
Manager of the national cancer rergistration
in the health department,
Dr Michael Bar Hana, says that according to the statistics,
in Israel there are 3 cancer cases per 1000 people.
in Porat it's double from the israeli average. 11 people ayear.
Further more, 8 at the 11 of the same year, got exactly the same cancer that
are linked to EMR.
7 of them- on the murderous line.
The extreme line includes 8 farms. Almost in each one of them one of the family members
got sick between the years 1999-2002.
Dr Yehudit Shaham, head of the occupational cancer in the national institute
for occupational and environmental health:
"It is accepted by the world institute that EMF are suspected carcinogens.
Because we are not talking about conclusive evidence, and they are controversials,
the EMF are defined in Israel as suspected and not certain
and also then it is attributed to leukemia in children and not to brain cancer.
by the data of research, there is high frequency for brain cancer
According the data that is known to me, there is no proof until today for
significant causal relationship between brain cancer and EMR exposuer.
Anyway, there is a need to do epidimiological research in the specific population
to know if there is or isn't a link.
Is frequency of 7 of 11 patients in 4 years-all of them in the line in front of
the antennes, and most of them sick with brain tumor- seems possible
I cannot exclude this kind of chance.
Bezeq: We were only filling directions
Bezeq's spokesman, Yotam Yakir: "Bezeq
only acts by directions
of the relevant government offices, and does not decide the allowed radiation level.
In March last year the transmitter stopped for some weeks by the command of Bezeq
CEO, Ilan Biran, and after intervention of the prime minister and new
directions from the environment department Bezeq activated the station partly.
Lately, after the issue has been raised in the knesset, there were measurements, and the
radiation levels were lower significantly from the standard.
Since the station activation in the 60's, all Bezeq actions were done by the
directions it received by the authorities.
The facts are that also in the first years of the station, and actually since then and always,
the antenne was transmitting simply because of technical limits in power that was not even close to the
allowed levels in the international standard.
Head of environment department, Stilian Galberg:"The Hillel transmitter was the strongest
transmitter in the country until 3 years ago,
of the 8-9 antennes sites of Bezeq and the broadcast authority.
This transmitter was so strong, that it was supposed to broadcast to Iran.
Since 1999 the radiation was reduced from 60 V to 8.7 V/m.
And all that was absorbed by the nearby residents?
This transmitter does not transmit since a year ago.
From the standards institue:
"8 months ago there was a check in the station
because of Zoran's noise, and there was exeeding of the americam standard.
Following that was disscussion in the knessent [israeli parliment]
and after that was a cooporated test of Sorek radiation research center and the
At that test there were no exeedings, but in Bezeq they knew ahead that we
were coming to check."
Controversion: Does the radiation cause cancer?
Inetrnational experts are diveded
in the question -is high power of electromagnetic
radiation dangerous and causes cancer.
The WHO determined that there is no conclusive evidence that exposure to radiation of
million hertz that is emitted from antennes like those of Porat, is dangerous.
This position is accepted by the israeli environment department, who denied
warnings of the cellular phones.
But more and more researchers claim that the international standard is not
reliable, and determine that there is cancer danger to people exposed to this radiation.
Research indicate that even radiation as low as 500 times from the standard causes rise of 2-4.5
in cancer illness.
The american institute to envitonmental health sciences
claims that exposure to EMF raises the cancer frequency, especially
leukemia and head.
One of the famous researches is the one of Sir Richard Doll,
who found cancer illness rates in mice that were exposed to high EMR.
He summerized that this subject has still to be investigated in depth.
Broadcast Authority: We will act according to the findings
Broadcasts spokeswoman, Shlomit Golan:
"If there will be lawsuits against
the broadcast authority, that is an indirect side in this kind of lawsuits,
it will talk in the court room. Anyway the direct lawsuit is not against the broadcast authority but
Bezeq, who owns the site and makes the programms. The broadcast authority acts by the governmet directions
and there is no will to hurt the life quality of the people. The authority will act by the findings like the radiation level was lowered following the battle of Zoran. Golan said that "Closing the Zoran transmitter affected very much on the lack of reception in arab countries , and that is why the broadcast authority is looking for alternative site, which will act with no damage to residents".
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