Israel’s nuclear weapons under the spotlight

Now that the United States and Russia have agreed on a framework to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, it’s time for the world to turn its attention to Israel’s massive arsenals of weapons of mass destruction.

Last week we highlighted an exclusive article published in Foreign Policy pointing to a newly discovered secret CIA document revealing that US spy satellites uncovered in 1982 “a probable CW [chemical weapon] nerve agent production facility and a storage facility… at the Dimona Sensitive Storage Area in the Negev Desert”, and that “Other CW production is believed to exist within a well-developed Israeli chemical industry”.

Today the Times of Israel, citing reports by the US Defence Intelligence Agency and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, discloses that “Israel possesses a stockpile of 80 nuclear warheads”. The Jews-only state, it continues, “began to produce nuclear warheads in 1967 and gradually built up its arsenal, producing between two and three warheads each year until it amassed 80 warheads in 2004, and “is estimated to have produced enough fissile material for 115 to 190 warheads”.

The paper noted that previous estimates had put the number of warheads in Israel’s possession at up to 400. It cited “foreign reports” as saying that the apartheid state “has the capacity to deliver a nuclear payload via a variety of methods, including ballistic missiles, aircraft and submarine-launched cruise missiles”. It continues:

The 80-warhead figure… was cited in June in a 2013 yearbook put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading think tank on global security issues.

Of those warheads, 50 are for medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 are for bombs carried by aircraft, the report said. In addition, “Israel may also have produced non-strategic nuclear weapons, including artillery shells and atomic demolition munitions,” the Guardian reported.

In 1986, based on information supplied by ex-Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, later convicted of treason, the Sunday Times of London estimated that Israel had produced more than 100 nuclear warheads.

The world should not have to wait for a nuclear catastrophe before it acts to disarm Israel of its nuclear arsenal.

Thanks to the Butcher of Damascus, Bashar Assad, the world’s attention is focused on the terrible consequences of using weapons of mass destruction. Let’s strike while the iron is hot and go the whole hog: strip Israel of its weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical and biological – before it’s too late.

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