The natural radiation background of the sediments from the southeastern province of the Levant Basin was determined by gamma-ray spectrometry using a high-resolution, low-background Ge(Li) detector. In addition, the acid leachable component in two of the cores was investigated by alpha-particle spectrometry. The Nile river-derived clastics dominate the sediment character along the Israeli coast. The radio-elements in nine sediment cores near the Nile are readily distinguishable, by their higher potassium, uranium and thorium contents, from the more carbonate-rich sediments from the northwestern province of the Levant Basin. The rates of sediment transport and deposition are so rapid that no 230Th-excess accumulated in the sediment deposited relatively nearshore. In the deep water of the Herodotus Basin only a small degree of 230Th-excess is recorded. Determination of absolute rates of sedimentation by uranium-series disequilibria is not feasible for the sediments near to the Israeli coast; such studies in the Herodotus Basin would require long core lengths to be successful.