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Israel Town Assails Bio Building

October 8, 1998

NES TSIONA, Israel (AP) _ After stopping government plans to expand a shadowy research facility, this Tel Aviv suburb now wants the complex where Israel allegedly manufactures chemical and biological weapons removed from town.

Confronted with a lawsuit filed by Nes Tsiona, the Israeli government last month backed down from plans to expand the Israel Institute for Biological Research.

Attorney Shay Segal said Thursday that Nes Tsiona officials plan to make a case for moving the complex when they appear before an Israeli government panel that oversees defense facilities.

Segal said no one disputes that Israel needs such a research center, ``but far away from here _ not in a residential area where people live.″

The Israeli government refuses to comment on the military aspects of the facility, although it acknowledges that besides researching medicine and biology, it is a defense-related institution.

Last month, Israel confirmed that an Israeli cargo plane that crashed in Amsterdam six years ago was carrying DMMP, a chemical that can be used to manufacture the deadly nerve gas sarin.

However, it said the chemical, which was being shipped to the institute, was intended for a nonmilitary testing project there.

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