Israel is thought to have begun developing nuclear
weapons in the 1960s, allegedly in co-operation
with South Africa. According to some estimates, Israel
could very rapidly make over 100 nuclear warheads
operational. Israel maintains that it will not be the
first state in the region to introduce nuclear weapons.
This is usually taken to mean that weapons are held one
step short of final assembly. The military nuclear
programme is centred on the Dimona nuclear research
center in the Negev desert.
- Israel's Nuclear Weapons - A Case Studyby Elizabeth Stevens "In the Negev dessert, construction of a nuclear reactor, Dimona, began. Publicly, it was called a
"textile plant." CIA intelligence captured its progress via satellite photography and came to the
conclusion that Israel was planning to build a nuclear bomb. In 1962, the reactor went critical, in
other words, it was able to sustain a chain reaction. It was also capable of being operated at more
than 70 megawatts, thus producing a greater amount of plutonium by-product to be used in their
nuclear warheads than would be possible at the officially reported output of 24 megawatts. ...
Analysis of Israel's nuclear program has been obstructed by the heavy vegetation, unusual in an arid
climate, which shields their facilities from view. Nevertheless, Russian and French satellite pictures
produced over the last five years using high resolution imagery lend credence to the conclusion that
the weapons are to be used as a last resort. A recently published article describes Israel's nuclear
infrastructure using this imagery technology. The report indicates that the strategic weapons are in
the Judean foothills, the heart of Israel.... On October 5, 1986, the London Sunday Times published a story which described Israel's nuclear weapons program. It was the first inside account attributable to a publicly named source, Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at Dimona. The sensational revelations gave hard evidence, including photos, of Israel's accumulation of 100 to 200 weapons, many more than the 25 that was generally estimated. "
- Israel and Vanunu By Yoel Cohen Eight years after Mordechai Vanunu spilled the beans,
Israel still refuses to acknowledge it has the bomb
- MORDECHAI VANUNU - ISRAEL Intelligence, N. 36, 29 April 1996, p. 17 "The Israeli Justice Minister, David Libai, has rejected an appeal from an international delegation,
including nuclear scientists, for the release of Mordechai Vanunu. Channel One, in a report on
radiation leaks from Dimona which included an interview with a scientist who claimed untreated
nuclear waste may be contaminating a huge freshwater reservoir beneath the Negev. The program
confirmed what many international observers believe: the Israeli authorities are less concerned with
the "secrecy" surrounding Dimona than with "teaching Mr. Vanunu a lesson" "
- Israel denies claim of nuclear hazard NAOMI SEGAL Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM [12 April 1996] -- Israeli Environment Minister Yossi Sarid has rejected claims of a hazard posed
by the Dimona nuclear complex in the Negev. Sarid's remarks came in response to claims last week by Egypt and Saudi Arabia regarding a supposed leak from the Dimona nuclear reactor.
- Gaddafi meets Mubarak, defends underground plant CAIRO, May 26 (Reuter) Gaddafi said the United States was using a double standard, complaining
about Tarhunah while ignoring the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona in the
Negev desert, widely believed to be the centre of a nuclear weapons
``America speaks about Tarhunah but not about Dimona. It speaks
about Libya making chemical weapons while it knows that the Israelis
have chemical and biological weapons and nuclear bombs and it doesn't
speak about them at all,'' he said.
- International Vanunu Conference October 26, 1996 ANTIFA INFO - BULLETIN The conference was held October 14 /15, on the tenth
anniversary of the forced Mossad kidnapping of Mordechai Vanunu
from Rome, and his being secretly tried behind closed doors in
Israel and convicted and sentenced to 18 years incarceration for
- US and Britain's Reactions Following the Exposure of the Israeli Nuclear Reactor in Dimona.
- The Final Option New Clouds Over Israel's Nuclear Program
By Shai Feldman
Created by Charles P. Vick,
Sara D. Berman, and
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Webmaster
Updated Monday, March 17, 1997