On Monday, human rights organizations Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his role as Minister of Defense, Military Advocate General Adv. Sharon Afek, and Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit, with an urgent demand to refrain from conducting further aerial spraying of herbicides inside and near the Gaza Strip, due to the severe damage to crops and the risk to the health of Gaza residents caused by the spraying.
According to media reports and accounts from Gaza residents, on December 4, 2018, the Israeli military sprayed herbicides from the air over areas inside the Gaza Strip and near the fence separating it from Israel. A variety of crops grown in fields near the fence inside the Strip were damaged as a result. In December 2015, the military confirmed it uses planes to spray herbicides near the fence in order to clear terrain. Farmers and local organizations in the Strip report that spraying has occurred since 2014. In June 2016, Gisha, Adalah and Al Mezan submitted a complaint on behalf of eight farmers from Gaza whose crops had been damaged by spraying, calling on the Israeli authorities to refrain from the practice and compensate the farmers, to no avail.
In the letter submitted on Monday, the organizations emphasize that the spraying is a highly destructive measure, infringing on fundamental human rights and violating both Israeli and international law. Contrary to Israel’s official position, whereby the military only sprays herbicides over Israeli territory, farmers in Gaza report that the planes spray over the Strip’s aerial space. The letter further notes that even if the spraying were to in fact take place only on the Israeli side, the chemical agents used are carried by wind over to the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to crops and disproportionate financial losses to local farmers, meaning that there is no justification or legal basis for the continued use of this destructive practice.
A response submitted by the Ministry of Defense (Hebrew) to a Freedom of Information petition filed by Gisha in 2016 revealed that the chemical agents used in the spraying include glyphosate (“Roundup”), which had been declared a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and has been banned in many countries around the world.
This is yet another libel, plain and simple. Regarding glyphosate:
EFSA and the EU Member States have finalised the re-assessment of glyphosate, a chemical that is used widely in pesticides. The report concludes that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and proposes a new safety measure that will tighten the control of glyphosate residues in food.
There is limited evidence that human cancer risk might increase as a result of occupational exposure to large amounts of glyphosate, such as agricultural work, but no good evidence of such a risk from home use, such as in domestic gardening. The consensus among national pesticide regulatory agencies and scientific organizations is that labeled uses of glyphosate have demonstrated no evidence of human carcinogenicity. Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization, European Commission, Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment have concluded that there is no evidence that glyphosate poses a carcinogenic or genotoxic risk to humans.
But facts do not matter when your goal is to demonize Israel. You will just put an accusation out there, hoping your audience is not knowledgeable enough to call you out on your BS.
Hence this post (hat tip: Tommy)
Update: The libel has been disseminated by, among others, Jew hater Jenny Tonge.