Lawmakers to IDF: Shut Nahal Base in Negev Beset With High Cancer Rates

IDF figures show number of Lymphoma cases in infantry training base stands at twice national average.

The Knesset Interior and Environment Committee on Tuesday urged the Israel Defense Forces to shut the basic training camp of the Nahal infantry brigade, after an exceptional rate of cancer cases has been found.

Appearing before the committee, the IDF chief medical officer, Brigadier General Nachman Ash, confirmed that a disproportionate number of Nahal soldiers have been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, after serving at the Tel Arad base.

Committee chairman MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) scheduled a special session, following a Channel 2 investigative report.

The figures show that twelve cases of Hodgkin's Lymphoma have been diagnosed among Nahal soldiers, as opposed to five in the Paratroopers and four in the Golani infantry brigades. Among those who served between 1994 and 2004, 58 Nahal soldiers have been diagnosed with cancer, as opposed to 47 and 43 in the Paratroopers and Golani respectively, which is the average norm.

The committee urged the IDF to evacuate the base without delay. They also called on Health Minister Yacov Ben-Yizri to set up a state inquiry.

Labor MK Orit Noked said that her son served in the base, and demanded the removal of soldiers from it.