Israel Institute for Biological Research

Israel Institute for Biological Research

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Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) is a government defense research institute specializing in biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, medicinal chemistry
Medicinal chemistry
Medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry are disciplines at the intersection of chemistry, especially synthetic organic chemistry, and pharmacology and various other biological specialties, where it is involved with design, chemical synthesis and development for market of pharmaceutical...

 and environmental science
Environmental science
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

, and is suspected of also developing biological and chemical weapons, as well as defenses against them. It is located in Ness Ziona
Ness Ziona
Ness Ziona is a city in central Israel founded in 1883. At the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 38,100, and its jurisdiction was 15,579 dunams.-Nahalat Reuben:...

, 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

. IIBR has approximately 350 employees, 150 of whom are scientists.


IIBR is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister of Israel
Prime Minister of Israel
The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and the most powerful political figure in Israel . The prime minister is the country's chief executive. The official residence of the prime minister, Beit Rosh Hamemshala is in Jerusalem...

's office and works in close cooperation with government agencies. IIBR has many public projects on which it works in cooperations with international research organizations (governmental and non-governmental) and universities. Its research findings are often published in national and international scientific publications.

IIBR was founded in 1952 by Professor Ernst David Bergmann
Ernst David Bergmann
Ernst David Bergmann was an Israeli nuclear scientist and chemist. He is often considered the father of the Israeli nuclear program.- Life and Education :...

, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
David Ben-Gurion
' was the first Prime Minister of Israel.Ben-Gurion's passion for Zionism, which began early in life, led him to become a major Zionist leader and Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization in 1946...

's science adviser and the head of R&D at the Ministry of Defense, and Dr. Alexander Keynan. Keynan was IIBR's first director.

Some of the fields in which IIBR conducts research include:
  • Medical diagnostic techniques
  • Mechanisms of pathogenic diseases
  • Vaccines and pharmaceuticals
  • Protein and enzyme syenthesis and engineering
  • Process biotechnology
  • Air pollution risk assessment
  • Environmental detectors and biosensors

IIBR also has a non-public scope of operation. Due to its secretive and defense-related nature, it is widely assumed that the institute develops vaccines and antidote
An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. The term ultimately derives from the Greek αντιδιδοναι antididonai, "given against"....

s for chemical
Chemical warfare
Chemical warfare involves using the toxic properties of chemical substances as weapons. This type of warfare is distinct from Nuclear warfare and Biological warfare, which together make up NBC, the military acronym for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical...

 and biological warfare
Biological warfare
Biological warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war...

. Some sources speculate that the IIBR also develops offensive capabilities in these fields. The IIBR provided the poison and the antidote used in the attempted assassination of a Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 leader (Khaled Mashal
Khaled Mashal
Khaled Mashal, also known as Khaled Mashaal, Khaled Meshaal, and Khalid Mish'al, has been the main leader of Hamas since the assassination of Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi in 2004. In addition, Mashal heads the Syrian branch of the political bureau of Hamas.Mashal was born in Silwad, a village north of...

) in Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 in 1997.

El Al Flight 1862
El Al Flight 1862
On 4 October 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo plane of the Israeli airline El Al, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer neighbourhood of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. For the location in the Bijlmermeer, the crash is known in Dutch as the "Bijlmerramp"...

, which crashed in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in 1992, was carrying cargo destined for the Israel Institute for Biological Research which included 190 litres of dimethyl methylphosphonate
Dimethyl methylphosphonate
Dimethyl methylphosphonate, or methylphosphonic acid dimethyl ester , is a colorless liquid with chemical formula 393 or CH3PO2. It is combustible. It emits a distinct odor. It can be found in household radiators, especially those installed in the former Soviet Bloc. In contact with water it...

, which could be used in the synthesis of Sarin
Sarin, or GB, is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [2CHO]CH3PF. It is a colorless, odorless liquid, which is used as a chemical weapon. It has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction in UN Resolution 687...

 nerve gas. The shipment was from a U.S. chemical plant under a U.S. Department of Commerce licence. Dimethyl methylphosphonate is now a Chemical Weapons Convention
Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. Its full name is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction...

 schedule 2 chemical.

Life Science Research Israel

Life Science Research Israel (LSRI), a subsidiary of IIBR, is dedicated to the commercial exploitation of innovative technologies developed by IIBR. According to its 2000 annual report (, in Hebrew), the 2000 budget was 16.6 million NIS (about US $4 million), with revenues of 12.9 million NIS (US $3 million).

Markus Klingberg

Marcus Klingberg
Marcus Klingberg
Abraham Marcus Klingberg is the highest ranking Soviet spy ever caught in Israel. The case of Klingberg is regarded one of the most destructive spy scandals in the history of the State of Israel.At the beginning of World War II, fearing the Nazis, Klingberg escaped from Poland to the USSR...

, IIBR's deputy director, was arrested in 1983 and convicted of espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 for the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. His arrest and sentencing was kept a secret for over a decade. Klingberg was released to house arrest for medical reasons in 1998 (and completely in 2003), but remains silent about his career or treason according to an agreement he signed before being released.

External links