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Wildfires rage in Israel during heatwave

24 May 19, JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Firefighters on Thursday battled wildfires that scorched swathes of forests in central Israel, forcing some small towns to be evacuated, during a heatwave that brought record temperatures to parts of the country.

Rescue efforts focused on a wooded area between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where ground teams and airplane tankers fought back the flames for hours. By nightfall, the fires were mostly under control, according to police……. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-wildfires/wildfires-rage-in-israel-during-heatwave-idUSKCN1ST2F1

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May 25, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Israel | Leave a comment

Danger of war – Israel vs Russia – could lead to nuclear war

May 21, 2019 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

President Kennedy strongly warned Israel against getting nuclear weapons

May 11, 2019 Posted by | history, Israel, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Report: Islamic Jihad threatens to strike nuclear reactor, airport

  https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5503570,00.html

The targets mentioned in a video released by the Gaza-based terror group include the nuclear reactor in Dimona in the south, Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv and oil refineries in the northern city of Haifa.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Israel, safety | Leave a comment

Secret history of Israel’s first nuclear device

May 2, 2019 Posted by | history, Israel | Leave a comment

History of Israel getting nuclear weapons

April 20, 2019 Posted by | history, Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump administration and Israel helping Saudi Arabia towards getting nuclear weapons

 

Concerns over Saudi plan to build nuclear plants after US deal | Al Jazeera English

Trump Admin Complementing Israeli Effort to Give Nuclear Weapons to Saudi Arabia   https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-saudi-arabia-nuclear-weapons-2/256761/  

Already seven of the 10 countries in the world with the highest military budgets are in the Middle East. The development of nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia has many speculating that it could mark the beginning of an even more dangerous era for the war-torn region.  March 29th, 2019, By Alan Macleod

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, Rick Perry, has secretly approved the sale of nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, Reuters revealed this week. Saudi Arabia is reportedly attempting to construct at least two nuclear power plants as part of its effort to diversify its energy sector and its economy as a whole. As part of this plan it has accepted bids from Russia, South Korea and the U.S. for the lucrative contract. Perry’s approval is known as a Part 810 authorization, which allows energy companies to begin the process of planning and starting preliminary work in anticipation of the closing of a formal deal in the future.

While the Saudi proposals are presented as civilian and do not mention nuclear weaponry, U.S. approval and sale of nuclear technology has been seen by many as a prelude to the development of a Saudi nuclear weapon, which could potentially spark anuclear arms race in the region. Riyadh has long coveted atomic weaponry and has considered developing its own in its quest to maintain military dominance in the region. “If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit” Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the United States, told the Guardian in 2011, noting that the kingdom may feel “compelled” to pursue the option in the future, if tensions with Iran remain high.

In reality, Iran does not have, nor is it trying to acquire, nuclear weapons technology (something quietly conceded by both the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the CIA), and has lived up to its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, any such move from Saudi Arabia might provoke a response in kind from Iran, its chief adversary in the region and would sound a death knell for the hopes of the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The United States has long accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons technology and has placed sanctions on the country.

The Israeli connection

An important nuclear player in the region is Israel, one of the few nations in the world that has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Israel is estimated to possess 100 to 200 nuclear weapons and has taken a strongly adversarial position towards Iran. In 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before a joint session of Congress with a cartoon image of a bomb to give a speech denouncing Iran and warning of an Iranian military threat. Israel has been key in pushing the United States into a more confrontational stance on Iran through a continuous public-relations drive to present the country as a menace.

Last year Mint Press News reported that the Israeli government had begun selling Saudi Arabia nuclear weapons secrets. Ami Dor-on, a senior official and nuclear specialist at the organization Israel’s Homeland Security, blew the whistle on the clandestine practice. The Israeli actions were the latest evidence of a growing cooperation between the two nations. However, the prospect of a nuclear Saudi Arabia has many concerned.

The threat of a nuclear Saudi Arabia

For some time, Saudi Arabia has been making its presence felt in the Middle East, leading to the destabilization of the entire region. In 2011 Saudi tanks rolled into Bahrain to crush the Arab Spring uprising in the island country, and it continues to be a primary driver of the war in Yemen, labeled by some as genocide. At least 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the Saudi bombardment of the country.

Riyadh also continues to fund various jihadist groups in Syria and is one of the largest financiers of terrorism in the world. Before his election, Trump claimed Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 attacks and the White House more recently insisted it would hold the kingdom responsible for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. However, as with unabated American support for the Saudi war in Yemen, these proclamations have fallen short.

The Saudi armed services are already a formidable force. Saudi Arabia spends the third most of any country in the world on the military, behind only the U.S. and China, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The Saudi military’s size is estimated at nearly a quarter-million active personnel, who are equipped with the most advanced weapons available.

Already seven of the 10 countries in the world with the highest military burden are in the Middle East. The development of nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia has many speculating that it could mark the beginning of an even more dangerous era for the war-torn region.

Top Photo | U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for Israe from Saudi Arabial, the next stop in his international tour, at King Khalid International Airport, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Alan MacLeod is an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Israel, politics international, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN raps Israel’s use of ‘unlawful force’ against Gazans 

  Press TV, 23 Mar 19, The United Nations (UN)’s Human Rights Council has denounced Israel’s use of “unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against unarmed Palestinian protesters in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Gazans started protesting along a fence that separates the Gaza Strip from the Israeli-occupied territories on March 30, 2018 demanding the right to return for those Palestinians driven out of their homeland by Israeli aggression and calling for a halt to Israel’s inhumane blockade of the enclave.

Israeli forces deployed to the area have used force from across the fence against the protesters, killing over 260 Palestinians and injuring thousands since the protests started.

On Friday, the Humans Rights Council adopted a resolution on accountability tabled by Pakistan on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The resolution was adopted with 23 votes in favor, eight against, and 15 abstentions. The delegation of one member state was absent.

The text also called for cooperation by the Israeli regime with a preliminary examination that was launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2015 into Israeli human rights violations.

The resolution was based on a UN Independent Commission of Inquiry report that found that Israeli forces had committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that “may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity” in killing 189 Palestinians and injuring thousands between March 30 and December 31, 2018……..https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/03/22/591676/UN-Human-Rights-Council-Israel-lethal-excessive-force-Gaza

March 23, 2019 Posted by | Gaza, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change taking its toll on the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River

The Sea of Galilee: A Sea of Miracles Disappearing

Where Jesus once preached, the holy waters are draining away,  Climate change and conflict have left the river Jordan a stagnant stream and the Sea of Galilee critically low, Guardian, Oliver Holmes Sun 24 Feb 2019  

Once a raging torrent, the lower Jordan has been starved of water to become a stagnant stream, filled with sewage and dirty run-off from farms. Around 95% of its historical flow has been diverted by agriculture during the past half-century. And the river’s primary source, the Sea of Galilee – where Christians believe the son of God walked on water – has for years been dammed to prevent its demise.

Biblical bodies of water in the Holy Land, eternalised in Christian, Jewish and Muslim ancient texts as godly, are now facing very human threats: climate change, mismanagement and conflict.

Following five consecutive years of drought, the Sea of Galilee has sunk to a 100-year low. A number of small islands have emerged at the water’s surface, and several holiday homes that were built on the shoreline now stand at least 100 metres from the boggy edge.

Overuse has also taken its toll. Last summer, the level of the lake dropped close to a black line, a level at which it could lose its status as a freshwater body. “The black line is our best guess of that point,” says Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of EcoPeace, an organisation of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists. “It was tens of centimetres above the black line,” he says, adding that such a shallow depth has not been seen in records taken over the past century.

As the lake’s level falls, it cannot wash away salt fast enough, and its salinity rises. If the Sea of Galilee’s waters were left to hover around the black line, its flora and fauna would start to perish. A glimpse of the lake’s grim future might be seen 350km downriver at the lowest place on the planet: the Dead Sea, a body almost devoid of fish and plant life. “Once the lake becomes saline, that could be irreversible,” says Bromberg, speaking at the muddy edge of the water, reeds poking up behind him………

As long as the Sea of Galilee is under threat, the river Jordan will be too. And their eventual deaths could have explosive ramifications as water in this region has been a key source of conflict. The river Jordan is shared by Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Jordan and Syria, all of which use its depleting reserves………

EcoPeace hopes that good water management will spur on peace to the region. Bromberg is now advocating for a deal in which Israel, which is on the Mediterranean, supplies desalinated water to Jordan. In exchange, Jordan, which is low on water but full of open desert with 320 sunny days a year, will supply solar power.

In the meantime, the river Jordan remains polluted. Most Christian pilgrims who want to be baptised in the holy waters do not venture to the original site where John the Baptist is believed to have led Jesus into the water. That location is in the occupied Palestinian territories next to Jordan, and the Israeli army mined it decades ago. Pilgrims were only allowed to return some years ago……… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/23/israel-where-jesus-preached-holy-waters-draining-away-sea-of-galilee-river-jordan?CMP=share_btn_tw

February 25, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Israel | Leave a comment

Super Weapon: Israel Could Arm Stealth F-35s with Nuclear Weapons 

  National Interest, by Zachary Keck 20 Jan 19, There is no reason to think that Israel doesn’t have the technical capability to make its new F-35s nuclear capable

By the end of this year, Israel is expected to become the second country after the United States to declare Initial Operational Capability for its F-35s. Already, Tel Aviv has taken possession of five of the multirole fighters,and following an agreement late last month to buy an additional seventeen planes, will ultimately purchase fifty planes. All fifty F-35s are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2024.

(This first appeared in 2017.)

Israeli officials typically describe the F-35s purpose as ensuring the country’s continued air superiority in the region. In particular, they focus on how the plane’s stealth capabilities will allow them to evade Iran’s increasingly capable, Russian-built air defense systems. One mission that is not being discussed is that Israel will likely use its F-35s as a nuclear delivery system.

Although the government refuses to officially acknowledge it, Israel is known to have a nuclear arsenal with as many as 100 warheads. The Jewish State is also believed to possess a nuclear triad, consisting of ground-based Jericho missiles, Dolphin-class submarines equipped with sea-launched cruise missiles and some combination of nuclear-capable aircraft.

It’s likely that the F-35 will be the newest addition to the air leg of Israel’s triad……….At the same time, Israel also assured the United States that it would not “introduce” nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which Israel interpreted to mean it could build a nuclear arsenal as long as it didn’t publicly acknowledge its existence. ……https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/super-weapon-israel-could-arm-stealth-f-35s-nuclear-weapons-42097

January 21, 2019 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

History of Israel’s Secret Nuclear Reactor

The papers, which include notes, memorandums, drafts and summaries by senior Israeli officials of the time, including Israel Galili, an adviser to prime ministers Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir, Eshkol himself, cabinet member Yigal Allon and IDF commander Moshe Dayan, defence chief-turned prime minister Shimon Peres, and senior diplomat Abba Eban, helped Raz piece together important details about the clandestine project.

Moral Qualms and Cost Concerns

The papers revealed that Galili had several concerns about the nuclear endeavour, known as “the enterprise,” including its potential to undermine Israel’s “moral status,” or cause then-Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser to attack Israel to try to take out a “justified target.” Finally, he feared that the program could incite Cairo to start work on its own nuclear program.

The documents also indicated that the cost of the Dimona reactor, estimated at about $53 million by Peres in April 1962, was revised upwards by Alon to “three times” the $60 million discussed by the cabinet in 1964. An undated note, presumably written sometime between 1963 and 1966, indicated that the real cost may have been as much as $340 million (about $2.75 billion in present day dollars, accounting for inflation).

“If it were known in advance that it would cost $340 million – would we have voted for Dimona?” the note, written by Eban to Galili, reads.

Meir Proposes Switching From Defense to Offense

The documents showed that after Eshkol succeeded David Ben-Gurion as prime minister in 1963, the new PM’s foreign minister, Golda Meir, proposed admitting the existence of the program in a bid to get support from America’s Jews.

“Our situation will be stronger when the struggle becomes public,” she insisted, adding the need to “switch to offence instead of defence.”

Interestingly, the papers reportedly show that Israeli leaders had to resist pressures to place the project under international supervision, not only from Charles de Gaulle of France, but even from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations, who urged Israel to sign on to the non-Proliferation Treaty, which was being developed at the time. In one memo, Peres reportedly told Galili that “in order to overcome the supervision [that the US wanted], cooperation by both sides is needed.”

Nuclear Status Undefined

One particularly important note, again by Galili, seems to indicate that even several years into the reactor’s construction, Tel Aviv did not commit to building actual nuclear bombs. “There is no decision by the government of Israel to manufacture atomic weapons,” the note says.

In another bombshell document cited by Raz, Yigal Allon refers to a phraseology agreed between himself and Nixon Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, whereby a nuclear state is defined as “a state that has exploded a bomb or a device.” This definition allowed the US not to classify Israel as a nuclear state subject to the NPT.

“I am constantly using a phrase agreed with Kissinger — that Israel is not a nuclear state,” Allon wrote in one of the papers.

Nuclear Option in 1973

Finally, without providing any direct quotations from the documents, Raz noted that the subject of the possible use of nuclear weapons during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Israel came dangerously close to defeat at the hands of Egypt and Syria, was also discussed in the papers. In brief, Raz confirmed that Defence Minister Dayan had arrived at defence headquarters in Tel Aviv on the afternoon of 8 October 1973 to recommend preparations to activate the nuclear option.

On October 9, Meir told Israeli Atomic Energy Commission Chief Shalhevet Freier that preparations would not be made without her explicit authorisation. Israel Lior, Meir’s military secretary, similarly indicated to Dayan and Freier that the nuclear option was a no-go.

Citing censorship, Raz indicated that the information he provided addresses “only a small portion of the subject that came up in the notes,” and urged Israeli authorities to allow for a more open discussion of the country’s nuclear program.

 

January 21, 2019 Posted by | history, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Secret Handwritten Memos Reveal How Israel’s Nuclear Program Came to Be

January 19, 2019 Posted by | history, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) a front for Israeli weapons smuggling, and a danger to 1000s of Americans

FBI and CIA’s ‘Duty To Warn’ Victims of Israeli Nuclear Smuggling  https://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2018/12/26/fbi-and-cias-duty-to-warn-victims-of-israeli-nuclear-smuggling/

$500 million Pennsylvania NUMEC toxic cleanup restarts   December 27, 2018 In 2015 the intelligence community acknowledged that it had a “duty to warn” U.S. persons of impending threats of “serious bodily injury.” The objective of that “duty” – which has many loopholes – is to compel intelligence agencies to warn individuals or organizations of threats so they can take evasive measures. It affirms a moral obligation intelligence agencies have to those funding – willingly or not – their operations. The duty to warn demands they no longer stand idly by – or worse attempt to exploit credible threats to Americans – as leverage or for other, secret intelligence purposes.Last fall the US Army Corps of Engineers announced it was finally ready to resume a $500 million toxic waste cleanup of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) dump. An earlier attempt at the Pennsylvania site to excavate was stopped after the discovery of unexpected materials. NUMEC’s plant sites in Apollo and Parks Township have long been the subject of litigation over wrongful mass deaths and illnesses caused by toxic pollution.

NUMEC was launched and managed by Zalman Shapiro, a nuclear chemist credited with solving engineering issues for naval nuclear propulsion in the 1950s. His partner, David Luzer Lowenthal was a smuggler with murky ties to Israeli intelligence and industrialist. Luzer organized the emergence of NUMEC from a complicated merger and acquired facilities for NUMEC in a defunct steel mill in the middle of Apollo, Pennsylvania. The Zionist Organization of America, originally chartered to “do any and all things that may be necessary” to support Israel, supplied three of NUMEC’s executives. Zalman Shapiro, Pittsburgh region president of ZOA, Morton Chatkin and Ivan J. Novick who became ZOA’s national president.

Officially NUMEC was a startup supplier of highly-enriched fuel for the US Navy. But two Central Intelligence Agency officials claimed NUMEC’s true purpose was to amass and divert US government-owned highly enriched uranium into Israel’s nuclear weapons program. 300 kilograms of highly enriched uranium disappeared from NUMEC between 1957-1978, with most of it gone by 1966. Material stolen from NUMEC would have been the most likely source for Israel’s ability to ready nuclear weapons for use during the 1967 Six-Day War.

CIA Tel Aviv Station Chief John Hadden, who performed field operations to sample the environment around Dimona for highly enriched uranium – material Israel was incapable of producing on its own – claimed NUMEC was “an Israeli operation from the beginning.” CIA Directorate of Science and Technology Deputy Director Carl Duckett testified that “NUMEC material had been diverted by the Israelis and used in fabricating weapons.” There were other telltale signs.

Inside NUMEC’s underfunded, ramshackle facilities an Israeli scientist, Baruch Cinai, learned to handle samples of plutonium, a skill subsequently useful to plutonium production at Israel’s Dimona facility. Israeli covert operatives Raphael Eitan, Avraham Bendor and Ephraim Beigun all visited the facility at Shapiro’s invitation in 1968 undercover as various Israeli energy specialists, in the company of Avraham Hermoni, chief of Israel’s nuclear weapons development program. The FBI’s investigation of NUMEC-related activities ultimately shook loose eyewitness testimony that Shapiro was collaborating in the illicit diversion of highly enriched uranium from NUMEC’s U.S.-government owned stockpile to Israel. Under increasing pressure, NUMEC’s regulator, the Atomic Energy Commission, subsequently engineered NUMEC’s corporate buyout and the exit of its management team to save face, after many years of denial and providing easily refuted excuses for NUMECs extreme and inexplicable material “losses.”

That NUMEC was a front operation, following in the footsteps of Israel’s 1940s-era conventional weapons smuggling operations from the US such as Martech, Service Airways, and the Sonneborn Institute, is well-known by the FBI and CIA. Both have released extensive archives of intelligence reports and surveillance photographs of Israeli conventional weapons smuggling from the United States through overseas networks. But both FBI and CIA have fought attempts at full disclosure of clandestine Israeli nuclear weapons related activities in the US, ostensibly because such smuggling has been unpunished and unabated. It is also US policy, under penalty of prosecution, that no federal agency may admit that Israel has nuclear weapons or release information about its program.

A February 2015 lawsuit seeking all of the CIA’s “thousands” of files about NUMEC was ended when the presiding judge refused to allow adding the US Department of Justice – which has worn many hats in the NUMEC affair – as an additional defendant. However some CIA documents were released during the court battle, revealing how the CIA had refused to cooperate with two separate FBI investigations of NUMEC, preferring to cover up damning information obtained from clandestine CIA operations in Israel confirming the diversion.

Documents grudgingly released by the FBI so far reveal the intelligence community likely knows that cost-cutting at NUMEC to achieve its smuggling aims was what made it such a toxic polluter. On May 5, 1969, Shapiro discussed a major toxic spill caused by such shortcuts, most likely with David Lowenthal, since the acquisition of other US companies was also part of the conversation. Shapiro ordered NUMEC workers – who often worked with no protective gear of any kind – to dampen down the spill with picks and shovels to avoid the spread of toxic dust and rain runoff carrying away the waste. Shapiro’s call was wiretapped by the FBI.

The full phone call summary reveals how Shapiro – who commuted every day from Pittsburgh – considered NUMEC workers as mostly replaceable and expendable.

“It’s not only a bad spill but ‘actually they are operating outside compliance.’ They had the drums all together. They have about 200 drums and estimate that about six a day will corrode through. The trouble lay with a fluoride which was put in to help the decay, and this was not checked. CENSORED said they are also about $230,000 over on their construction costs for the scrap plant. Z [Zalman Shapiro] said if they could get other people, there would be a lot of firing.”

NUMEC workers and town residents, exposed to radiation levels hundreds of times higher than health standards allowed, continue to suffer fallout and death from NUMEC. In addition to residents, the US Army Corps of Engineer contractors restarting the cleanup could benefit greatly from knowing what material is likely present – as well as what is not – at the site. Residents and the cleanup crew would also benefit from knowing of any intelligence on the potential threat that materials stolen decades ago might be returned or buried under cover of the cleanup at the site for crews to “find.”

Legal precedents suggest such toxic exposure as occurs at NUMEC could amount to “oppression, fraud, or malice” and be sufficient for victims to recover damages from polluters. However, neither the CIA nor the FBI have met their current obligations under “duty to warn” to officially alert the victims of NUMEC and contractors precisely what dangers they are still facing as the cleanup recommences.

Such overdue disclosures could also allow NUMEC’s victims to pursue claims against the perpetrator and beneficiary of the fraud and pollution – the Israeli government. Evidence stored away in FBI and CIA files could fully reveal ZOA’s NUMEC involvement. If ZOA did more than unwittingly provide key members of management, ZOA’s $40 – plus million in current assets could go a long way toward compensating the long-suffering Pennsylvania victims of Israeli nuclear smuggling and partially shift the burden of paying to clean up after NUMEC away from American taxpayers.

Grant F. Smith is the author of the book Divert! NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the diversion of US weapons-grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program. He is director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C. and plaintiff in the 2015 lawsuit calling on the CIA to release all NUMEC-related files.

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Israel has the World’s Most Secretive Nuclear Weapons Program

Introducing the World’s Most Secretive Nuclear Weapons Program (Not North Korea) Who could that be? National Interest, by Kyle Mizokami 24 Dec 18 

That can only mean one nation…

In a private email leaked to the public in September of 2016, former secretary of state and retired U.S. Army general Colin Powell  alluded to Israel  having an arsenal of “200 nuclear weapons.” While this number appears to be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that Israel does have a small but powerful nuclear stockpile, spread out among its armed forces. Israeli nuclear weapons guard against everything from defeat in conventional warfare to serving to deter hostile states from launching nuclear, chemical and biological warfare attacks against the tiny country. …….

Not much is known about early Israeli weapons, particularly their yield and the size of the stockpile. The strategic situation, in which Israel was outnumbered in conventional weapons but had no nuclear adversaries, meant Israel likely had smaller tactical nuclear weapons to destroy masses of attacking Arab tanks, military bases and military airfields. Still, the relatively short ranges between Israel and its neighbors meant that the Jericho missile, with only a three-hundred-mile range, could still hit Cairo and Damascus from the Negev desert.

Israel does not confirm nor deny having nuclear weapons. Experts generally assess the country as currently having approximately eighty nuclear weapons, fewer than countries such as France, China and the United Kingdom, but still a sizeable number considering its adversaries have none. These weapons are spread out among Israel’s version of a nuclear “triad” of land-, air- and sea-based forces scattered in a way that they deter surprise nuclear attack.

…….. Israel’s first land-based nuclear weapons were based on Jericho I missiles developed in cooperation with France. Jericho I is believed to have been retired, replaced by Jericho II and -III ballistic missiles. Jericho II has a range of 932 miles, while Jericho III, designed to hold Iran and other distant states at risk, has a range of at least 3,106 miles. The total number of Israeli ballistic missiles is unknown, but estimated by experts to number at least two dozen.

Like other nuclear-armed nations, the Israeli Navy has reportedly deployed nukes to what is generally agreed to as the most survivable seagoing platform: submarines. Israel has five German-built Dolphin-class submarines, which experts believe are equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. The cruise missiles are reportedly based off the Popeye air-to-ground missile or the Gabriel antiship missile. This ensures a so-called “second-strike capability”—as long as one submarine is on patrol, some portion of Israel’s nuclear deterrent remains invulnerable to a nuclear first strike, guaranteeing the ability to launch a nuclear counterattack.

The establishment of a nuclear triad demonstrates how seriously Israel takes the idea of nuclear deterrence. The country will likely not declare itself a nuclear power any time soon; ambiguity over ownership of nukes has served the country very well. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and general instability across the Middle East has ensured that Israel will likely remain the only nuclear-armed state in the region for the foreseeable future, but a collapse of the agreement or some new nuclear program could easily change that.https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/introducing-worlds-most-secretive-nuclear-weapons-program-not-north-korea-39722

December 29, 2018 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN is being pressed by Iran and Israel – each wanting action against the other

Iran and Israel call each other nuclear threats, ask U.N. to take action, Bozorgmehr SharafedinDan WilliamsLONDON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) 21 Sept 18,  – Iran asked the United Nations to condemn what it described as Israeli nuclear threats against it on Thursday, while Israel said it was stepping up security around its atomic sites as a precaution against threats from Tehran and its regional allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a visit to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor in August to warn the country’s enemies that it has the means to destroy them, in what appeared to be a reference to its assumed nuclear arsenal.

“The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons,” Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gholamali Khoshrou said in letters to the U.N. secretary general and the security council, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. Khoshrou asked the United Nations to force Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and bring its nuclear program under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. atomic watchdog.

The director general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission said on Tuesday that Iran and Syria posed significant proliferation threats to the region and called for U.N. action at the 62nd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency now taking place in Vienna.

………Israel, which is outside the NPT, neither confirms nor denies having a nuclear arsenal, a decades-old “ambiguity” policy. It is trying to lobby world powers to follow the United States in withdrawing from the 2015 deal with Iran that capped the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting of sanctions. The Israelis say the agreement does not do enough to denying their arch-foe the means to eventually build a bomb. Tehran, which is a signatory to the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), denies wanting to so…….. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-israel/iran-and-israel-call-each-other-nuclear-threats-ask-u-n-to-take-action-idUSKCN1M00ML

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September 22, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment