Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) is an Israeli government defense research institute specializing in biology, medicinal chemistry and environmental science. The institute's work is a closely guarded secret. It is suspected of also developing biological and chemical weapons and defenses against them, as well as toxins for use by Israeli intelligence in assassinations. It is located in Ness Ziona, 20 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. IIBR has approximately 350 employees, 150 of whom are scientists.
IIBR is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister'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, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's science adviser and the head of R&D at the Ministry of Defense. Dr. Alexander Keynan. Keynan was IIBR's first director.
Some of the fields in which IIBR conducts research include:
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 antidotes for chemical and biological warfare. Some sources speculate that the IIBR also develops offensive capabilities in these fields. The IIBR also provides lethal toxin weapons for use in assassinations by the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service.
El Al Flight 1862, which crashed in the Netherlands in 1992, was carrying cargo destined for the Israel Institute for Biological Research which included 190 litres of dimethyl methylphosphonate, which (among many other uses) could be used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas, and is now a Chemical Weapons Convention schedule 2 chemical. Israel stated that the material was non-toxic, was to have been used to test filters that protect against chemical weapons, and that it had been listed on the cargo manifest in accordance with international regulations. The Dutch foreign ministry confirmed that it had already known about the presence of chemicals on the aircraft.  According to the chemical weapons site CWInfo the quantity involved was "too small for the preparation of a militarily useful quantity of Sarin, but would be consistent with making small quantities for testing detection methods and protective clothing".
British intelligence writer Gordon Thomas wrote that the facility is surrounded by a high concrete wall topped with sensors, and armed guards patrol its perimeter. No aircraft are allowed to overfly the facility, and its location is not listed on any map of the area. Inside the facility, code words and visual identification control access to each area, and its numerous bombproof sliding doors can only be opened by swipe cards whose codes are changed every day. Corridors inside the facility are patrolled by guards. All employees and their families undergo intense health checks every month. In his history of the Mossad, Thomas wrote that over the years, at least six of the facility's employees had died, but the causes of their deaths was kept secret by Israel's strict military censorship regulations.
According to Thomas, many of the institute's research and development laboratories are concealed deep underground, where biochemists and genetic scientists work to develop lethal toxins. In other laboratories reached through air locks, nerve agents are developed. Within the facility, there is a special department that creates poisons for use by the Mossad.
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).
Marcus Klingberg, IIBR's deputy director, was arrested in 1983 and convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union. His arrest and sentencing was kept a secret for over a decade. Klingberg was released to house arrest for medical reasons in 1998, until the end of his sentence in 2003, but remained silent about his career or treason, as required by an agreement he signed before his release. Klingberg published his memoirs, Hameragel Ha'akharon ("The Last Spy"), written together with his lawyer, Michael Sfard, in 2007.