Mideast Report

Israel to participate in cell phone study

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A recent visitor to Israel observed the following scenario: He was at a restaurant when he noticed two people sitting across from each other at a nearby table.

Each was talking into a cradled cellular telephone against his ear.

Stories like these abound.

Indeed, cellular phone use has become ubiquitous — some would say oppressive — in Israel.

It is virtually impossible in the country's cities to get through a restaurant meal or a movie without hearing cellular phone rings and conversations.

Now Israelis will find out if their obsession with cellular phones could lead to health problems.

The Jewish state will participate in a World Health Organization study on whether the use of a cellular phone can lead to an increase in brain tumors.

A recent study in the Australian Medical Journal suggested a link between the increased use of cellular phones and an increased number of such tumors in Australia.