Israel quits Belarus embassy on radioactive fears : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Israel quits Belarus embassy on radioactive fears Reuters

JERUSALEM, May 18 - Israel said on Thursday it was evacuating its embassy in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and calling its staff home for routine medical checks for fear of rising radioactivity.

A senior U.S. official said on Wednesday that wild fires in Ukraine had stirred up radioactive elements remaining in the environment from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and raised radiation levels downwind in Belarus.

Amira Dotan, deputy Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told Reuters: 'We took all of our people out of the embassy in Minsk.'

She said a Foreign Ministry doctor took the decision to bring them home for routine medical checks 'because of the rise in the radioactivity'.

The U.S. official had said that, despite the increased levels of radiation, they were not high enough to warrant precautionary measures.

Chernobyl was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident when a reactor caught fire and exploded in 1986, spewing a cloud of radioactive dust.

-- Carl Jenkins (, May 20, 2000

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