US think tank says Israel has around 115 nuclear weapons

Ma’an News Agency | – –

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Washington-based think tank published a study Friday reporting Israel’s possession of around 115 nuclear weapons, despite the country’s ongoing policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear capacities.

According to the report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Israel has produced 660 Kg of plutonium in a nuclear reactor located in Dimona, near the city of Beersheba.

Israel began plutonium production in 1963 and had used it to make around 115 nuclear weapons by the end of 2014, the first of which was developed shortly before the 1967 Six Day War, the report said.

The major nuclear weapons production complex in Dimona contains several “secret nuclear facilities for the production of plutonium,” ISIS reported.

The complex is also site to a heavy water reactor, a fuel fabrication plant, and a plutonium separation plant which the think tank reported were all provided by France in the 1950s and early 1960s.

ISIS said that the Dimona complex may also contain facilities used for tritium extraction and purification, lithium production, and uranium enrichment.

While the ISIS report confirmed that Israel holds a variety of methods for delivering nuclear weapons, it said the exact numbers of Israeli nuclear weapons is a “closely guarded secret” of the Israeli government.

The think tank — which professes it aims for greater transparency of nuclear activities worldwide — referred in the report to Israel’s “ambiguous posture about its nuclear weapons.”

The report cited declassified US documents asserting the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons, as well as the 1986 disclosure of information on Israel’s nuclear program revealed by Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician turned peace activist.

Vanunu referred to the Dimona complex at the time as being site to the development of “more advanced nuclear weapons, in particular miniaturized warheads, boosted fission weapons, and thermonuclear weapons.”

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, other think tanks have predicted Israel holds between 80 and 200 nuclear weapons.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Via Ma’an News Agency

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

“The BBC Film That Exposed Israel’s Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons”

4 Responses

  1. Any amount over five or so is a waste of resources.

    I suspect that the 115 number is “in the ball park.”

    Right now, three of Israel’s five subs are operational and each sub has four tubes capable of launching nuclear-equipped cruise missiles with a range of about 500 miles. My best guess is that no more than four nuclear missiles are loaded to minimize the chances of a major accident.

    An unknown number of Jericho III ICBMs and Jericho II MRBM are operational. Each one has a single nuclear warhead and gives Israel the ability to strike ANY part of the globe, including the USA.

    As to “why?” Israel would need the ability to strike Europe, the USA and the rest of the globe, that is probably caused by their extreme paranoia (they really need a good psychiatrist).

    The rest of the nukes are probably small enough to carry on fighter-type aircraft for ME attack (Israel fighters have limited range and Israel has few re-fueling aircraft).

    So just who does Israel think they will nuke?

    If Israel nukes . . .

    – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine or Sinai, they will essentially be nuking themselves contaminating their own people and food sources.

    – Egypt, Iraq or Iran, they will lose protection from the USA and may be nuked by countries “downwind” of the targets. At the very least they will immediately suffer from a total economic blockade causing massive internal social problems. At that point, the world will reject all refugees from Israel even worse than they are rejecting Syrians right now.

    – Saudi Arabia, will very likely counter-nuke Israel. Saudi Arabia has large number of very reliable, very accurate quick lunch DF-21C missiles (purchased from China). Per international “rumors” Saudi Arabia has “purchased” nuclear warheads for the missiles from Pakistan. Some dismiss this, but I do not. I strongly suspect that the warheads are in Saudi Arabia, if not already loaded on the missiles. Saudi Arabia has lots of internal instability so it could be done without “official ” government knowledge.

    – Europe, Russia, Pakistan, India and USA are nuclear powers and Israel would be completely destroyed by nuclear counter-strikes. In other words a suicidal move.

    The bottom line is while Israel probably has about 115 nuclear devices, they are essentially useless because if Israel actually uses any one of them, it will be committing either slow economic suicide or immediate destructive suicide – in either case, Israel would be no longer.

    Maybe it is time for Israelis to learn how to live in the real world instead of fighting reality.

  2. Unfortunate acronym, “ISIS.” This will give the Prime Minister all the information he needs to call it a creature of Israel’s mortal enemies.

  3. I have always assumed that Israel has made it known to various Muslim states that if Israel is ever attacked with nuclear weapons or is in danger of being over-run by its enemies that Mecca will be nuked. I

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