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More foetus mutations detected in Gaza; Israeli nuclear waste blamed

Oct. 27, 2008 1:13 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 27, 2008 1:13 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Concern over earlier reports of increased rates of physical birth-defects and stillborn deliveries are heightened in the southern Gaza Strip after Director of Social Health Department in the de facto Health Ministry Salah Rantisi announced that he found an additional foetus with physical mutations in an ultrasound.

Rumors have been circulating that the defects are the result of nuclear materials dumped from the Israeli nuclear facility near Dimona.

In recent weeks the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority announced the beginning of a field survey to measure the effects of nuclear radiation, possibly emanating from Israeli military facilities, in the eastern Gaza Strip.

For their part, environment authorities in the Gaza Strip said in a statement on Monday that no radiation has been found in the air in Khuza'a. However, they suggested that radiation could be found in the earth or in water resources.

The statement explained that a technical team examined the area and found no radiation. The team encompassed experts from the power authorities, natural resources authorities and the Islamic University of Gaza.

The statement also said that international experts should examine the area, but scientists are unlikely to gain entry to Gaza because of Israel's total closure of the territory.

***Updated at 13:34 local time
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