Rothschild Zionist Israel’s Illegal Nuclear Chemical and Biological Weapon of Mass destruction

Rothschild Zionist Israel’s Illegal Nuclear Chemical and Biological Weapon of Mass destruction

Israel is widely believed to be the sixth country in the world to develop nuclear weapons[5] and to be one of four nuclear-armed countries not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the others being India, Pakistan and North Korea.[6] International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei regards Israel as a state possessing nuclear weapons,[7] but Israel maintains a policy known as "nuclear ambiguity" (also known as "nuclear opacity"). Israel has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons, instead repeating over the years that it would not be the first country to "introduce" nuclear weapons to the Middle East, leaving ambiguous whether it means it will not create or will not use the weapons. Israel began investigating the nuclear field just one year after its 1948 founding and with French support secretly began building a nuclear reactor and reprocessing plant in the late 1950s. Although Israel first built a nuclear weapon in 1967-68, it was not publicly confirmed from the inside until Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician, revealed details of the program to the British press in 1986. Israel is currently believed to possess between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads with the ability to deliver them by ground, aircraft, and submarine.[2] Development history Pre-Dimona 1949-1956 Israel first showed interest in procuring nuclear materials in 1949, when a unit of the Israel Defense Forces Science Corps, known by the Hebrew acronym HEMED GIMMEL, carried out a two year geological survey of the Negev. While a preliminary study was initially prompted by rumors of petroleum fields, one objective of the longer two year survey was to find sources of uranium; some small recoverable amounts were found in phosphate deposits.[2] That same year, HEMED GIMMEL funded six Israeli physics graduate students to study overseas, including one to go to the University of Chicago and study under Enrico Fermi, who had overseen the world’s first artificial and self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.[8] In early 1952 HEMED GIMMEL was moved from the IDF to the Ministry of Defense and was reorganized as the Division of Research and Infrastructure (EMET). That June, Ernst David Bergmann, the chief of research at the Defense Ministry and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s scientific advisor, was appointed by Ben-Gurion to be the first chairman of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC).[9] HEMED GIMMEL was renamed Machon 4 during the transfer, and was used by Bergmann as the "chief laboratory" of the IAEC; by 1953, Machon 4, working with the Department of Isotope Research at the Weizmann Institute, developed the capability to extract uranium from the phosphate in the Negev and new technique to produce indigenous heavy water.[2][10] Bergmann, who was interested in increasing nuclear cooperation with the French, sold both patents to the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA) for 60 million francs. Although they were never commercialized, it was a consequential step for future French-Israeli cooperation.[11] In addition, Israeli scientists probably helped construct the G-1 plutonium production reactor and UP-1 reprocessing plant at Marcoule. France and Israel had close relations in many areas. France was principal arms supplier for the young Jewish state, and as instability spread through French colonies in North Africa, Israel provided valuable intelligence obtained from contacts with sephardic Jews in those countries. [12] At the same time Israeli scientists were also observing France’s own nuclear program, and were the only foreign scientists allowed to roam "at will" at the nuclear facility at Marcoule.[13] After US President Dwight Eisenhower announced the Atoms for Peace initiative, Israel became the second country to sign on (following Turkey), and signed a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States on 12 July 1955.[14] This culminated in a public signing ceremony on 20 March 1957 to construct a "small swimming-pool research reactor in Nachal Soreq," which would be used to shroud the construction of a much larger facility with the French at Dimona.[15]

Dimona 1956-1965 Negev Nuclear Research Center Negotiation The French decision to help Israel build a nuclear reactor was not without precedent; in September 1955 Canada publicly announced that it would help the Indian government build a heavy-water research reactor for "peaceful purposes."[16] When Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, France asked Israel to cross the Sinai in order to justify its and Britain’s invasion of Egypt (see Suez Crisis), and Shimon Peres, sensing the opportunity on the nuclear reactor, accepted. On 17 September 1956, Peres and Bergmann reached a tentative agreement in Paris for the CEA to sell Israel a small research reactor. This was reaffirmed by Peres at the Protocol of Sèvres conference in late October for the sale of a reactor to be built near Dimona and for a supply of uranium fuel.[17] After the Suez Crisis led to the threat of Soviet intervention and the British and French were being forced to withdraw under pressure from the US, Ben-Gurion sent Peres and Golda Meir to France. During their discussions the groundwork was laid for France to build a larger nuclear reactor and chemical reprocessing plant, and French Prime Minister Guy Mollet, ashamed at having abandoned his commitment to fellow socialists in Israel, supposedly told an aide, "I owe the bomb to them."[18] This deal was finalized on 3 October 1957 in two agreements: one political that declared the project to be for peaceful purposes and specified other legal obligations, and one technical that described a 24 megawatt EL-102 reactor. The one to actually be built was to be two to three times as large[19] and be able to produce 22 kilograms of plutonium a year.[20] Excavation Before construction began it was determined that the scope of the project would be too large for the EMET and IAEC team, so Shimon Peres recruited Colonel Manes Pratt, then Israeli military attaché in Burma, to be the project leader. Building began in late 1957 or early 1958, bringing hundreds of French engineers and technicians to the Beersheba and Dimona area[citation needed]. In addition, thousands of newly immigrated Sephardic Jews were recruited to do digging; to circumvent strict labor laws, they were hired in increments of 59 days, separated by one day off.[21] Rupture with France When Charles de Gaulle became French President in late 1958 he wanted to end French-Israeli nuclear cooperation, and said that he would not supply Israel with uranium unless the plant was opened to international inspectors, declared peaceful, and no plutonium was reprocessed.[22] Through an extended series of negotiations, Shimon Peres finally reached a compromise with Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville over two years later, in which French companies would be able to continue to fulfill their contract obligations and Israel would declare the project peaceful.[23] Because of this, French assistance did not end until 1966.[24] British aid Top secret British documents[25][26] obtained by BBC Newsnight show that Britain made hundreds of secret shipments of restricted materials to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s.

These included specialist chemicals for reprocessing and samples of fissile material—uranium-235 in 1959, and plutonium in 1966, as well as highly enriched lithium-6 which is used to boost fission bombs and fuel hydrogen bombs.[27] The investigation also showed that Britain shipped 20 tons of heavy water directly to Israel in 1959 and 1960 to start up the Dimona reactor.[28] The transaction was made through a Norwegian front company called Noratom which took a 2% commission on the transaction. Britain was challenged about the heavy water deal at the International Atomic Energy Agency after it was exposed on Newsnight in 2005. British Foreign Minister Kim Howells claimed this was a sale to Norway. But a former British intelligence officer who investigated the deal at the time confirmed that this was really a sale to Israel and the Noratom contract was just a charade.[29] The Foreign Office finally admitted in March 2006 that Britain knew the destination was Israel all along.[30] Israel admits running the Dimona reactor with Norway’s heavy water since 1963. French engineers who helped build Dimona say the Israelis were expert operators, so only a relatively small portion of the water were lost during the years past since the first operation of the reactor.[31] Criticality In 1961, the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion informed the Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker that a pilot plutonium-separation plant would be built at Dimona. British intelligence concluded from this and other information that this "can only mean that Israel intends to produce nuclear weapons".[25] The nuclear reactor at Dimona went critical in 1962.[12] By 1965 the Israeli reprocessing plant was completed and ready to convert the reactor’s fuel rods into weapons grade plutonium.[32] Costs The exact cost for the construction of the Israeli nuclear program are unknown, though Peres later said that the reactor cost $80 million in 1960 dollars,[33] half of which was raised by foreign Jewish donors, including many American Jews. Some of these donors were given a tour of the Dimona complex in 1968.[34]

Weapons production 1967-present Mordechai Vanunu Completed Dimona complex as seen by US Corona satellite on November 11, 1968.

Mordechai Vanunu’s photograph of a Negev Nuclear Research Center glove box containing nuclear materials in a model bomb assembly, one of about 60 photographs he later gave to the British press.

Israel is believed to have begun full scale production of nuclear weapons following the 1967 Six-Day War, although it may have had bomb parts earlier. A CIA report from early 1967 stated that Israel had the materials to construct a bomb in six to eight weeks[35] and some authors suggest that Israel had two crude bombs ready for use during the war.[12]

According to US journalist Seymour Hersh, everything was ready for production at this time save an official order to do so. Moshe Dayan, then Defense Minister, convinced the Labor Party’s economic boss Pinchas Sapir of the value of commencing the program by giving him a tour of the Dimona site in early 1968, and soon after Dayan decided that he had the authority to order the start of full production of 4 to 5 nuclear warheads a year. Hersh stated that it is widely believed that the words "Never Again" were welded, in English and Hebrew, onto the first warhead.[36] In order to produce plutonium the Israelis needed a large supply of uranium ore, some of which was procured by the Mossad on the pretense of buying it for an Italian chemical company in Milan. Once the uranium was shipped from Antwerp it was transferred to an Israeli freighter at sea and brought to Israel. The orchestrated disappearance of the uranium, named Operation Plumbat, became the subject of the 1978 book The Plumbat Affair.[37] Estimates as to how many warheads Israel has built since the late 1960s have varied, mainly based on the amount of fissile material that could have been produced and on the revelations of Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu.

By 1969, U.S. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird believed that Israel might have a nuclear weapon that year.[38][39] Later that year, U.S. President Richard Nixon in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir pressed Israel to "make no visible introduction of nuclear weapons or undertake a nuclear test program", so maintaining a policy of nuclear ambiguity.[40] The US Central Intelligence Agency believed that Israel’s first bombs may have been made with highly enriched uranium stolen in the mid-1960s from the US Navy nuclear fuel plant operated by the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, where sloppy material accounting would have masked the theft.[41][42] By 1974 US intelligence believed Israel had stockpiled a small number of fission weapons,[43] and by 1979 were perhaps in a position so they could test a more advanced small tactical nuclear weapon or thermonuclear weapon trigger design.[44]

The CIA believed that the number of Israeli nuclear weapons stayed from 10 to 20 from 1974 through the early 1980s.[2] Vanunu’s information in October 1986 said that based on a reactor operating at 150 megawatts and a production of 40 kg of plutonium per year, Israel had 100 to 200 nuclear devices. Furthermore, Vanunu revealed that between 1980-1986 Israel attained the ability to build thermonuclear weapons.[45] By the mid 2000s estimates of Israel’s arsenal ranged from 75 to 400 nuclear warheads.[2][46] Several reports have surfaced claiming that Israel has some uranium enrichment capability at Dimona. Vanunu asserted that gas centrifuges were operating in Machon 8, and that a laser enrichment plant was being operated in Machon 9 (Israel holds a 1973 patent on laser isotope separation). According to Vanunu, the production-scale plant has been operating since 1979-80. The scale of a centrifuge operation would necessarily be limited due to space constraints.[specify] Laser isotope separation, however, if developed to operational status, could be quite compact. If highly enriched uranium is being produced in substantial quantities, then Israel’s nuclear arsenal could be much larger than estimated solely from plutonium production.[47] Uranium enrichment could also be used to re-enrich reprocessed uranium into reactor fuel to more efficiently use Israel’s uranium supply. In 1991 alone, as the Soviet Union dissolved, nearly 20 Jewish top Soviet scientists reportedly emigrated to Israel, some of whom had been involved in operating nuclear power plants and planning for the next generation of Soviet reactors. In September 1992, German intelligence was quoted in the press as estimating that 40 Soviet nuclear scientists had emigrated to Israel since 1989.[48] Nuclear testing On 2 November 1966, Israel may have carried out a non-nuclear test, speculated to be zero yield or implosion in nature.[2][49] The only suspected nuclear test conducted by Israel has become known as the Vela Incident. On 22 September 1979, a US Vela satellite, built in the 1960s to detect nuclear tests, reported a flash resembling a nuclear detonation in the southern Indian Ocean. In response the Carter administration set up a panel led by MIT professor Jack Ruina to analyze the reliability of the Vela detection; they concluded in July 1980 that the flash "was probably not from a nuclear explosion,"[50] although the original intelligence community estimate was that it was 90% likely to be a nuclear test and a secret study by the Nuclear Intelligence Panel agreed with that initial finding.[51] According to journalist Seymour Hersh, the detection was actually the third joint Israeli-South African nuclear test in the Indian Ocean, and the Israelis had sent two IDF ships and "a contingent of Israeli military men and nuclear experts" for the test.[52] Revelations Dimona The Israeli nuclear program was first revealed publicly on 13 December 1960 in a small Time article,[53] which said that a non-Communist non-NATO country had made an "atomic development."

On December 16, the Daily Express revealed this country to be Israel, and on December 18, US Atomic Energy Commission chairman John McCone appeared on Meet the Press to officially confirm the Israeli construction of a nuclear reactor and announce his resignation.[54] The following day The New York Times, with the help of McCone, revealed that France was assisting Israel.[55] This flurry of media reporting led Ben-Gurion to make the only statement ever by an Israeli Prime Minister about Dimona. On December 21 he announced in front of the Knesset that they were building a 24 megawatt reactor "which will serve the needs of industry, agriculture, health, and science," and that it "is designed exclusively for peaceful purposes."[56] However, Ernst David Bergmann, chairman of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (from 1954 to 1966), said that "There is no distinction between nuclear energy for peaceful purposes or warlike ones." [57] and that "We (Jewish people) shall never again be led as lambs to the slaughter".[58] Weapons production The first public revelation of Israel’s nuclear capability (as opposed to development program) came from NBC News, which reported in January 1969 that Israel decided "to embark on a crash course program to produce a nuclear weapon" two years previously, and that they possessed or would soon be in possession of such a device.[59] This was initially dismissed by Israeli and US officials, as well as in an article in The New York Times. Just one year later on July 18, The New York Times made public for the first time that the US government believed Israel to possess nuclear weapons or to have the "capacity to assemble atomic bombs on short notice."[60] The first extensive details of the weapons program came in the London based Sunday Times on 5 October 1986, which printed information provided by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician formerly employed at the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona. For publication of state secrets Vanunu was kidnapped by the Mossad in Rome, brought back to Israel, and sentenced to 18 years in prison for treason and espionage. Although there had been much speculation prior to Vanunu’s revelations that the Dimona site was creating nuclear weapons, Vanunu’s information indicated that Israel had also built thermonuclear weapons.[45] Stockpile The State of Israel has never made public any details of its nuclear capability or arsenal. The following is a history of estimates by many different reputable sources on the size and strength of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Estimates may vary due to the amount of material Israel has on store versus assembled weapons, and estimates as to how much material the weapons actually use, as well as the overall time in which the reactor was operated. 1967 (Six Day War)- 2 bombs;[61] 13 bombs[62] 1969- 5-6 bombs of 19 kilotons yield each[63] 1973 (Yom Kippur War)- 13 bombs;[64] 20 nuclear missiles plus developed a suitcase bomb[65] 1974- 3 capable artillery battalions each with 12 175 mm tubes and a total of 108 warheads;[66] 10 bombs[67] 1976- 10-20 nuclear weapons[68] 1980- 100-200 bombs[69][70] 1984- 12-31 atomic bombs;[71] 31 plutonium bombs and 10 uranium bombs[72] 1985- at least 100 nuclear bombs[73] 1986- 100 to 200 fission bombs and a number of fusion bombs[74] 1991- 50-60 to 200-300[75] 1992- more than 200 bombs[76] 1994- 64-112 bombs (5 kg/warhead);[77] 50 nuclear tipped Jericho missiles, 200 total[78] 1995- 66-116 bombs (at 5 kg/warhead);[79] 70-80 bombs;[80] "A complete Repertoire" (neutron bombs, nuclear mines, suitcase bombs, submarine-borne)[81] 1996- 60-80 plutonium weapons, maybe more than 100 assembled, ER variants, varitable yields[82] 1997- More than 400 deliverable thermonuclear and nuclear weapons (an intentionally high estimate)[83] 2002– Between 75 and 200 weapons[84] 2004- 82[85] 2006- Federation of American Scientists believes that Israel "could have produced enough plutonium for at least 100 nuclear weapons, but probably not significantly more than 200 weapons".[86] 2008- 150 or more nuclear weapons.[87] 2008- 80 intact warheads, of which 50 are re-entry vehicles for delivery by ballistic missiles and the rest bombs for delivery by aircraft. Total military plutonium stockpile 340-560 kg.[88]

2009- 300-400 nuclear weapons with lower limit of 70 -100 weapons.[89] Delivery systems Israeli military forces possess land, air, and sea based methods for deploying their nuclear weapons, thus forming nuclear triad that is mainly medium to long ranged, the backbone of which is submarine launched cruise missiles and medium and long ranged ballistic missiles, with Israeli Air Force tactical aircraft fulfilling the role normally played by strategic bombers in the Russian and American strategic deterrent.[90] During 2008 the Jericho III ICBM became operational, giving Israel extremely long range nuclear strike abilities.[91][92] Missiles Jericho missile Israel is believed to have second-strike abilities in the form of its submarines fleet and its nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which are buried so far underground they would survive a nuclear strike. [93] Ernst David Bergmann was the first to seriously began thinking about a ballistic missile capability and Israel test-fired its first Shavit II missile in July 1961.[94] It was not until 1963 when Israel actually put a large-scale project into motion, spending $100 million to jointly develop and build 25 short-range missiles with the French aerospace company Dassault. The Israeli project, codenamed Project 700, also included the construction of a missile field at Hirbat Zacharia, a site west of Jerusalem.[95] The missiles that were first developed with France became the Jericho I system, first operational in 1971. It is possible that the Jericho I was removed from operational service during the 1990s.In the mid 1980s the Jericho II medium-range missile, which is believed to have a range of 2800-5000 km, entered service. [96][97][98] It is believed that the Jericho II capable of delivering nuclear weapons with a superior degree of accuracy.[99] The Shavit three stages solid fuel space launch vehicle produced by Israel to launch many of its satellites into low earth orbit since 1988 is actually a civilian version of the Jericho II.[100] The Jericho III ICBM, became operational in January 2008 [101] [102] and some reports speculate that the missile may be able to carry MIRVed warheads.[103] The maximum range estimation of the Jericho III is 11,500 km with a payload of 1000-1300kg (up to six small nuclear warheads of 100 kt each or one 1 megaton nuclear warhead),[104][105] and its accuracy is considered high.[106] In January 2008 Israel has carried out the successful test launch of a long-range, ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead from the reported launch site at the Palmachim air base south of Tel Aviv.[107]Israeli radio identified the missile as a Jericho III and the Hebrew YNet news Web site quoted unnamed defence officials as saying the test had been "dramatic"[108][109] and that the new missile can reach "extremely long distances," without elaborating.[110]. Soon after the successful test launch, Isaac Ben-Israel, a retired army general and Tel Aviv University professor who is now an MP, told Israeli Channel 2 TV: "Everybody can do the math and understand that the significance is that we can reach with a rocket engine to every point in the world" The test came two days after Ehud Olmert, then Israel’s Prime Minister, warned that "all options were on the table to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons" and few months after Israel bombed Syrian facility that was suspected as nuclear plant, built with an extensive help from North Korea .[111]At the same time, regional defence experts said that by the beginning of 2008 Israel has already launched a programme to extend the range of its existing Jericho II ground attack missiles. [112]The Jericho-II B missile is capable of sending a one ton nuclear payload 5,000 kilometers. [113]The range of Israels’ Jericho II B missiles is reportedly capable of being modified to carry nuclear warhead no heavier than 500kg over 7,800 km, in effect making it an ICBM. [114]It is estimated that Israel has between 50 and 100 Jericho II B missiles based at facilities which were built in the 1980s. [115] However, the number of Jericho III missiles that Israel possess is unknown. Aircraft Israeli Air Force Israel lacks strategic bombers to deliver nuclear weapons over a long-range, although its F-16 fighter aircraft have been cited as possible nuclear delivery systems.[116][117][118] The U.S. Air Force F-15 has tactical nuclear weapon capability.[119] The Israeli Air Force possesses the following types of fighter aircraft: Lockheed Martin F-16I Sufa ("Storm") McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-15 Eagle Baz 2000 (A/B/C/D/E) future: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II JSF; the US Defense Department notified Congress of plans to sell up to 75 jets to Israel in a $ 5 to 15.2 billion deal for the aircraft. A contract is expected to be signed by Israel before 2009 will end (Israel will begin receiving the aircraft in 2013-2014), after the Pentagon agreed to an integration of Israeli electronic warfare systems into the plane as well as integration of Israeli communication systems, and ability to independently maintain the plane in the event of a technical or structural problem [120] [121]. The deal includes 50 Short-Take-Off and Vertical-Landing jets. [122][123][124] modifications of the JSF could provide the aircraft with nuclear strike capabilities. [125][126] unmanned: IAI Eitan (איתן)(Heron TP)- the world’s largest unmanned aircraft (UCAV), has a wing span of 35 metres (110 feet) — similar to that of a Boeing 737 passenger plane, was developed by the IAI for a very long-range high-altitude operations and destroying ballistic missiles as they are being launched, in response to the Iranian nuclear program. According to Janes Defence Weekly the weapons payload is 1800kg, more than enough to carry nuclear weapons, and can fly for 50 hours at 50,000 feet, above anti-aircraft defences, and must have a range of thousands of kilometers.[127] Marine Israel has operated three modern German-built Dolphin-class submarines[128] since 1999. Various reports[129] indicate that these submarines are equipped with cruise missiles that can deliver the lethal nuclear warheads with extremely high accuracy . The proven effectiveness of cruise missiles of its own production may have been behind Israel’s recent acquisition of these submarines which are equipped with torpedo tubes suitable for launching long-range (1500-2400 km) nuclear-capable cruise missiles [130][131] that would offer Israel a second strike capability. Israel is reported to possess a 200kg nuclear warhead, containing 6kg of plutonium, that could be mounted on cruise missiles. [132] The missiles were reportedly test launched in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka in June 2000, and are reported to have hit their target at a range of 1500km.In June 2002, former State Department and Pentagon officials confirmed that the U.S. Navy observed Israeli missile tests in the Indian Ocean in 2000, and that the Dolphin-class vessels have been fitted with nuclear-capable cruise missiles of a new design.It is believed by some to be a version of Rafael Israels’ Armament Development Authority’s Popeye turbo cruise missile while some believe that the missile may be a version of the Gabriel 4LR that is produced by Israel Aircraft Industries. However, others claim that such a range implies an entirely new type of missile.[133] [134][135] During the 1990s second half, Israel asked the United States to sell it 50 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles to enhance its deep-strike capabilities under its wide-ranging strategic defense program. Washington rejected Israel’s request in March 1998, since such a sale would have violated the Missile Technology Control Regime which prohibits the transfer of missiles with a range exceeding 300km, prompting concern that Israel may develop its own indigenous long-range cruise missile. Shortly after the rejection, an Israeli official told Defense News, "History has taught us that we cannot wait indefinitely for Washington to satisfy our military requirements. If this weapon system is denied to us, we will have little choice but to activate our own defense industry in pursuit of this needed capability." Indeed, Air Intelligence Center warned the U.S. Congress in July 1998 that Israel was developing a cruise missile of new type. [136] [137] According to Israeli defence sources, in June 2009 Israeli Nuclear Dolphin-class submarine sailed from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea via Suez Canal during a drill that showed that Israel can far more easily access the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf, than before.[138] IDF sources said the decision to allow navy vessels to sail through the canal was made recently and was a definite "change of policy" within the service. Israeli officials said the sub passed through the canal above water. In the event of a conflict with Iran, and if Israel decided to involve its Dolphin-class submarines, the quickest route would be to send them through the Suez Canal.[139] In advance, on 2006 Israel signed 1.3 billion euros contract with ThyssenKrupp to purchase two additional submarines from its HDW subsidiary. The two new boats will be an upgraded version of the old Dolphins, and are going to feature an Air-independent propulsion system, that allow them to remain submerged for longer periods of time than the three nuclear arms-capable submarines already in Israel’s fleet.[140][141] The first one is scheduled to be completed in 2012. Other It has been reported that Israel has several other nuclear weapons capabilities: Suitcase bomb: Seymour Hersh reports that Israel developed the ability to miniaturize warheads small enough to fit in a suitcase by the year 1973.[142] Tactical nuclear weapon: Israel may also have 175 mm and 203 mm self-propelled artillery pieces, capable of firing nuclear shells. There are three battalions of the 175mm artillery (36 tubes), reportedly with 108 nuclear shells and more for the 203mm tubes. If true, these low yield, tactical nuclear artillery rounds could reach at least 25 miles (40 km), while by some sources it is possible that the range was extended to 45 miles (72 km) during the 1990s.[143] EMP strike capabilities: Israel allegedly possesses several 1 megaton bombs,[144][145] which give it a very large EMP attack abilities.[146] For example, if a megaton class weapon were to be detonated 400 kilometers above Omaha, nearly the entire contiguous 48 States would be affected with potentially damaging EMP experience from Boston to Los Angeles, from Chicago to New Orleans.[147] Similarly, a high altitude airburst could cause serious damage to electrical systems in most of Iran.[148] Enhanced Radiation Weapon (ERW): Israel also is reported to have an unknown number of neutron bombs.[149] Policy

Israel’s refusal to admit it has nuclear weapons or to state its policy on use of them make it necessary to gather details from other sources, including unauthorized statements by its political and military leaders. Possession Although Israel has officially acknowledged the existence of Dimona since Ben-Gurion’s speech to the Knesset in December 1960, Israel has never officially acknowledged its construction or possession of nuclear weapons.[150] In addition to this policy, on 18 May 1966 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol told the Knesset that "Israel has no atomic weapons and will not be the first to introduce them into our region," a policy first articulated by Shimon Peres to US President John F. Kennedy in April 1963.[151] In the late 1960s, Israeli Ambassador to the US Yitzhak Rabin informed the United States State Department that its understanding of "introducing" such weapons meant that they would be tested and publicly declared, while merely possessing the weapons did not constitute "introducing" them.[152][153] Avner Cohen defines this initial posture as "nuclear ambiguity," but he defines the stage after it became clear by 1970 that Israel possessed nuclear weapons as a policy of "nuclear opacity."[154]

In 1998, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres said that Israel "built a nuclear option, not in order to have a Hiroshima but an Oslo".[155] The "nuclear option" may refer to a nuclear weapon or to the nuclear reactor near Dimona, which Israel claims is used for scientific research. Peres, in his capacity as the Director General of the Ministry of Defense in the early 1950s, was responsible for building Israel’s nuclear capability.[156] In a December 2006 interview, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came close to breaking with Israel’s policy of nuclear opacity, saying that Iran aspires "to have a nuclear weapon as America, France, Israel and Russia."[157] Olmert’s office later said that the quote was taken out of context; in other parts of the interview, Olmert refused to confirm or deny Israel’s nuclear weapon status.[158] Doctrine Israel’s nuclear doctrine is shaped by its lack of strategic depth: a subsonic fighter jet could cross in four minutes the 40 nautical miles (74 km) from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. It additionally relies on a reservist-based military which magnifies civilian and military losses in its small population. Israel tries to compensate for these weaknesses by emphasising intelligence, manoeuverability and firepower.[159] As a result, its strategy is based on the premise that it cannot afford to lose a single war, and thus must prevent them by maintaining deterrence, including the option of preemption. If these steps are insufficient, it seeks to prevent escalation and determine a quick and decisive war outside of its borders.[159] Strategically, Israel’s long-range missiles, nuclear capable aircraft, and possibly its submarines present an effective second strike deterrence against unconventional and conventional attack, and if Israel’s defences fail and its population centres be threatened, the Samson Option, an all out attack against an adversary, would be employed. Its nuclear arsenal can also be used tactically.[159] Although nuclear weapons are viewed as the ultimate guarantor of Israeli security, as early as the 1960s the country has avoided building its military around them, instead pursuing absolute conventional superiority so as to forestall a last resort nuclear engagement.[159] According to historian Avner Cohen, Israel first articulated an official policy on the use of nuclear weapons in 1966, which revolved around four "red lines" that could lead to a nuclear response:[160] 1. A successful Arab military penetration into populated areas within Israel’s post-1949 (pre-1967) borders. 2. The destruction of the Israeli Air Force. 3. The exposure of Israeli cities to massive and devastating air attacks or to possible chemical or biological attacks. 4. The use of nuclear weapons against Israeli territory.

Use On 8 October 1973 just after the start of the Yom Kippur War, Golda Meir and her closest aides decided to put eight nuclear armed F-4s at Tel Nof Airbase on 24 hour alert and as many nuclear missile launchers at Sedot Mikha Airbase operational as possible. Seymour Hersh adds that the initial target list that night "included the Egyptian and Syrian military headquarters near Cairo and Damascus."[161] This nuclear alert was meant not only as a means of precaution, but to push the Soviets to restrain the Arab offensive and to convince the US to begin sending supplies. One later report said that a Soviet intelligence officer did warn the Egyptian chief of staff, and colleagues of US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger said that the threat of a nuclear exchange caused him to urge for a massive Israeli resupply.[162] Hersh points out that before Israel obtained its own satellite capability, it engaged in espionage against the United States to obtain nuclear targeting information on Soviet targets.[163] Israeli military and nuclear doctrine increasingly focused on preemptive war against any possible attack with conventional, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or even a potential conventional attack on Israel’s weapons of mass destruction.[12][164] Louis René Beres, who contributed to Project Daniel, urges that Israel continue and improve these policies, in concert with the increasingly preemptive nuclear policies of the United States, as revealed in the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations.[165] After Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War, Israel went on full-scale nuclear alert and mobile nuclear missile launchers were deployed.[166] In the build up to the United States 2003 invasion of Iraq, there were concerns that Iraq would launch an unconventional weapons attack on Israel. After discussions with President George W. Bush then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned "If our citizens are attacked seriously – by a weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological or by some mega-terror attack act – and suffer casualties, then Israel will respond."

Israeli officials interpreted President Bush’s stance as allowing a nuclear Israeli retaliation on Iraq, but only if Iraq struck before the US military invasion.[167] Maintaining nuclear superiority Alone or with other nations, Israel has used diplomatic and military efforts as well as covert action to prevent other Middle Eastern countries from acquiring nuclear weapons.[168] For example, it is believed that Israel filed a false laser patent in the late 1970s to mislead Arab nuclear research. Mossad agents triggered explosions in April 1979 at a French production plant near Toulouse, damaging the two reactor cores destined for the Iraqi reactors. Mossad agents may also have been behind the assassinations of an Egyptian nuclear engineer in Paris as well as two Iraqi engineers, all working for the Iraqi nuclear program.[169] On 7 June 1981, Israel launched a preemptive air strike against Saddam Hussein’s breeder reactor in Osirak, Iraq, in Operation Opera. The Mossad is also said to have assassinated professor Gerald Bull, an artillery expert, who was allegedly building a massive cannon or "super gun" for Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, which was capable of delivering a tactical nuclear payload.[170] On 6 September 2007, Israel launched an air strike dubbed Operation Orchard against a target in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria. While Israel refused to comment, unnamed US officials said Israel had shared intelligence with them that North Korea was cooperating with Syria on some sort of nuclear facility.[171] Both Syria and North Korea denied the allegation and Syria filed a formal complaint with the United Nations.[172] Journalist Seymour Hersh speculates that this air strike may have been intended as a trial run for striking alleged Iranian nuclear weapons facilities.[173] On January 7, 2007 The Sunday Times reported that Israel had drawn up plans to destroy three Iranian nuclear facilities with low-yield nuclear bunker-busters that would be launched by aircraft through "tunnels" created by conventional laser-guided bombs.

These tactical nuclear weapons would then explode underground to reduce radioactive fallout.[174] Israel denied the specific allegation. However, its military leaders admit that it rules out no option.[175] The death of the Iranian physicist Ardeshir Hassanpour, who may have been involved in the nuclear program, has been reported by the intelligence group Stratfor to have been a Mossad assassination.[176] Iran is currently conducting atomic research that Israel fears is aimed at building a nuclear weapon. Israel has pressed for United Nations economic sanctions against Iran,[177] and has repeatedly threatened to launch a military strike on Iran if the United States does not do so first.[178]

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and United Nations’ Resolutions Israel was originally expected to sign the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and on 12 June 1968 Israel voted in favor of the treaty in the UN General Assembly. But when the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August by the Soviet Union delayed ratification around the world, Israel’s internal division and hesitation over the treaty became public.[179] The Johnson administration attempted to use the sale of 50 F-4 Phantoms to pressure Israel to sign the treaty that fall, culminating in a personal letter from Lyndon Johnson to Israeli PM Levi Eshkol. But by November Johnson had backed away from tying the F-4 sale with the NPT after a stalemate in negotiations, and Israel would neither sign nor ratify the treaty.[180] After the series of negotiations, US assistant secretary of defense for international security Paul Warnke was convinced that Israel already possessed nuclear weapons.[181] In 2007 Israel sought an exemption to non-proliferation rules in order to import atomic material legally.[182] In 1996 the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution[183] calling for the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.[184] Arab nations and annual conferences of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) repeatedly have called for application of IAEA safeguards and the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East. Arab nations have expressed their disgust that the United States practices a double standard in criticizing Iran’s nuclear program while ignoring Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons.[185] According to a statement by the Arab League, Arab states will withdraw from the NPT if Israel acknowledges having nuclear weapons and then does not open its facilities to international inspection and destroy its arsenal.[186] In a statement to the May 2009 preparatory meeting for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the U.S. delegation reiterated the longstanding U.S. support for "universal adherence to the NPT," but uncharacteristically named Israel among the four countries that have not done so. An unnamed Israeli official dismissed the suggestion that it would join the NPT and questioned the effectiveness of the treaty.[187] The Washington Times reported that this statement threatened to derail the 40-year-old secret agreement between the US and Israel to shield Israel’s nuclear weapons program from international scrutiny,[188] while Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb, argued that acknowledging its nuclear program would allow Israel to take part constructively in efforts to control nuclear weapons. Although no official statistics exist, it has been estimated that Israel possesses between 60 to 400 thermonuclear weapons, believed to be of Teller-Ulam design, with all strategic warheads in the megaton-range.[3][4][5]

The Israeli government maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity on whether it has nuclear weapons, saying only that it would not be the first to "introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East".[6] The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei regards Israel as a state possessing nuclear weapons.

Chemical Weapons: Israel has signed but not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). There are speculations that a chemical weapons program might be located at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona [2]. 190 liters of dimethyl methylphosphonate, a CWC schedule 2 chemical used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas, was discovered in the cargo of El Al Flight 1862 after it crashed in 1992 en route to Tel Aviv. Israel insisted the material was non-toxic, was to have been used to test filters that protect against chemical weapons, and that it had been clearly listed on the cargo manifest in accordance with international regulations. The shipment was from a U.S. chemical plant to the IIBR under a U.S. Department of Commerce license.[8] In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities.[2] Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense responsible for chemical and biological defense, Bill Richardson, said in 1998 "I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time … There’s no doubt they’ve had stuff for years".[9]

Chemical Chronology 2004-2008 2 January 2004 Ha’aretz reports that following Libya’s repudiation of WMD the Israeli government is considering ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention. A major factor driving the Israeli discussion is concern that Israel will come under direct pressure to ratify the CWC. Ratifying the CWC before being obliged to is seen as serving Israel’s diplomatic interests. There is also ongoing concern on the part of Israeli manufacturers and importers that increasingly tight restrictions on trade in chemicals will begin to have a negative effect on the economy. Ratification of the CWC is seen as the means of avoiding any such problems. It is claimed that Israel has no interest in chemical weapons and probably does not have an active offensive chemical weapons program. –Aluf Benn, “Israel readies to join regional WMD clean-up after Libyan, Iranian moves,” Ha’aretz, 2 January 2004, . 31 January 2004 Mr. David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), says that Iraqi chemical protection suits were intended to protect Iraqi soldiers against Israeli chemical attacks, rather than Iraqi chemical attacks.

–"Whodunnit?" Economist, 31 January 2004. 22 April 2004 An anti-terrorism technology center is established by the Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University, which envisions that the center will become a world leader in developing anti-terrorism warfare technology, especially relating to chemical and biological anti-terrorism. Hebrew University has received around $10 million annually from US government agencies in grants for infrastructure and applied research. –Batya Feldman, “Hebrew U. company sets up anti-terror technology unit,” Globes, 22 April 2004, . May 2004 The Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr. Rogelio Pfirter, has "bilateral contacts with representatives of . . . Israel based in The Hague." These meetings are conducted as part of efforts to expand the membership of the Chemical Weapons Convention. –Note By The Director-General: Information On The Implementation Of The Action Plan For The Universality Of The Chemical Weapons Convention S/431/2004, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 24 June 2004, p. 2, . 5-7 May 2004 Israeli representatives attend a workshop in Malta jointly organized by the Maltese government and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) aimed at promoting universal adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Israel has not yet ratified the CWC which it signed in 1993. –Chemical Disarmament Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (June 2004), p. 24. 11 September 2004 In Riyadh, a training program of the Saudi CWC National Authority takes place. Responding to questions from journalists after officially opening the exercise, Saudi Assistant Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Prince Turki Bin Muhammad Bin Sa’ud al-Kabir says that Saudi Arabia is free from WMD and calls on the international community to pressure Israel to respect obligations set out under the CWC. –The CBW Conventions Bulletin, No. 66 (December 2004), p. 42. 11 October 2004 At the 59th session of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Israel issues a statement citing concern over WMD proliferation and the limited effectiveness of traditional mechanisms to ensure compliance and verification, particularly in the Middle East. Israel supports in international nonproliferation efforts and supports UN Security Council Resolution 1540, but also emphasizes that individual states must strengthen international decisions with corresponding domestic actions. Israel has done so by adopting a new Export and Import Control Order, in March 2004, which will strengthen regulation controls over chemical, biological and nuclear materials.

–Statement of the Delegation of Israel to the First Committee – UNGA – 59th session, 11 October 2004, . 29 November – 2 December 2004 The OPCW hosts the Ninth Session of the Conference of the States Parties. Israel attends and participates as an observer. –The CBW Conventions Bulletin, No. 66 (December 2004), p. 14. 9 to 11 January 2005 The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and civilian first responders conduct a joint exercise in Israel’s south that simulates a terrorist attack using chemical or biological agents to create mass casualties. –Amir Rapaport, "Syringes against non-conventional weapons to be distributed to policemen," Tel Aviv Ma’ariv (in Hebrew), 12 January 2005, p. 8, translation provided by Open Source Center as Israel: Policemen To Be Equipped With Antidotes Against Chemical Weapons, 12 January 2005, Open Source Center document GMP20050112000217, . 12 January 2005 Israel’s Home Front Command has decided to equip Israeli police officers with special "TA" syringes filled with chemical weapons antidotes. The intention is to limit distribution of the syringes to hundreds of police officers on special patrol duties. Although details of the plan’s implementation are being discussed senior police officials have not yet agreed to the Home Front command proposal. The decision is the result of new intelligence pointing to an increased possibility of attacks involving the dispersal of chemical or biological agents "to achieve mass casualties in population centers." –Amir Rapaport, "Syringes against non-conventional weapons to be distributed to policemen," Tel Aviv Ma’ariv (in Hebrew), 12 January 2005, p. 8, translation provided by Open Source Center as Israel: Policemen To Be Equipped With Antidotes Against Chemical Weapons, 12 January 2005, Open Source Center document GMP20050112000217, . 8 March 2005 In the Hague, a delegation from the Israeli Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense meets with the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter. The Israel delegation consists of the Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs, H.E. Mr Jeremy Issacharoff; the Director of the Arms Control Department, H.E. Mr Alon Bar; the Ambassador of Israel to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Eitan Margalit; and Mr Shmuel Limone, a Senior Consultant in the Ministry of Defence of Israel. In the course of their discussions Ambassador Pfirter outlines progress in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention and stresses the importance of achieving universality, including in the Middle-East. The Israeli delegation discusses the security situation in the region and expresses interest in developments related to the CWC in the Middle East and other regions.

–Delegation of Israel Visits the OPCW, Press release #3, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 9 March 2005, . 25 April 2005 In an editorial column published on the website of the Damscus based newspaper Al-Thawrah Muhammad Khayr al-Jamali accuses Israel of possessing "an innumerable number of biological and chemical weapons." –"Syrian writer criticizes Israeli "lies" over Syrian-Russian missile deal," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 25 April 2005, . 3 June 2005 Israeli security sources claim that Syrian missile tests on 27 May 2005, one of a Scud B with a range of about 300 kilometers and two of the newer Scud D type with a range of some 700 kilometers, involved missiles adapted with the cooperation of North Korea to deliver air-burst chemical weapons. All the missiles were launched from northern Syria, near Minakh, north of Aleppo, the Israeli officials said. One was sent about 250 miles to southernmost Syria, near the Jordanian border. Another missile was fired southwest toward the Mediterranean, over the Turkish province of Hatay, the ancient Antioch, and broke up in flight shedding debris over two villages there. Turkish officials indicate that there were no injuries or damage. –Steven Erlanger and Douglas Jehl, “Syria Test-Fires 3 Scud Missiles, Israelis Say,” New York Times, 3 June 2005, p. A12. 13-15 June 2005 An Israeli representative attends a workshop on the universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in Nicosia, Cyprus. The workshop is jointly organized by the OPCW and the European Union (EU). The EU provides support for the OPCW’s activities in the framework of implementing the European Union Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The workshop in Cyprus is intended to help increase awareness of the Convention among States in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, and neighboring regions. –Chemical Disarmament Quarterly, Vol. 3 No. 2 (June 2005), p. 12. 7-11 November 2005 The OPCW hosts the Tenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties. Israel attends and participates as an observer. –The Tenth Session of the Conference of the States Parties Concludes, Press Release #71, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 11 November 2005, . December 2005 The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) releases a report describing its understanding, based on open-sources, of Israeli WMD capabilities. The authors conclude that although Israel does not maintain a CW agent stockpile it retains a breakout capability that would draw on Israel’s advanced technological and scientific knowledge combined with a CW knowledgebase built up in the 1950s and 1960s. –Normark Magnus, et. al., Israel and WMD : Incentives and Capabilities, Stockholm, 2005), . 25 June 2006 The Al-Aqsa Matyr’s Brigade releases a statement in which they claim that they “have managed to produce more than 20 kinds of chemical and biological weapons following a three-year effort.” –The CBW Conventions Bulletin, No. 72+73 (September 2006), p. 37. 20 October 2006 The Director General of the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, delivers a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in which he criticizes a number of countries for refusing to ratify or accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Amongst those singled out for criticism is Israel. Ambassador Pfirter observed that in the cases of Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and Syria “their reticence [to join] is often explained away as an unavoidable consequence of regional tensions or conflicts. Ambassador Pfirter went on to say that “In the end, there is, and can be, no moral or strategic justification for keeping the chemical weapons option open.” –“OPCW Director-General’s Statement to the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly,” Chemical Disarmament Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 2006), p. 10-14. 25-27 October 2006 A government representative from Israel attends the Third OPCW Workshop to Promote the Universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention among States in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, and neighboring regions held in Rome, Italy. –“Rome Workshop on Chemical Weapons Ban in the Middle East,” Chemical Disarmament Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 2006), p. 17-18. 5-8 December 2006 An Israeli representative attends the 11th Session of the Conference of the States Party (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in the Hague as an observer. [Note: As a state that has neither signed nor acceded to the CWC the Israeli delegate can only attend the open sessions of the CSP]. –C-11/DEC.1: Decision: Attendance by Non-Signatory States at the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 5 December 2006, . 20 March 2007 As part of a nationwide exercise to test the capacity of Israeli agencies to respond in the event of an Iranian attack against its territory Israel conducts a training and preparedness exercise simulating a chemical terrorism attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan. –Laurie Copans, “Israel practices for missile, chemical attacks Nationwide drill tests police, army,” Associated Press, 21 March 2007, . 9 July 2007 The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command is reported to only have enough gas masks for 1.5 million adults and half-a-million children, less than half the Israeli population.

The Home Front Command is reportedly considering proposals, if the need arises, to make emergency purchases of gas masks from Israeli and American companies. –Yaakov Katz, “Less than half of Israelis to have working gas masks by end of year. ‘Non -conventional attack would result in major crisis’,” Jerusalem Post, 9 July 2007, p. 3. 16 July 2007 The Israeli Knesset’s Subcommittee on the Home Front’s Preparedness releases a report criticizing the Israeli government’s capacity to protect population from chemical or biological weapons attack. The committee report particularly notes that in 2003 “Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz swore to work out a system by which emergency kits would reach citizens in the North in a matter of hours, and citizens in the rest of Israel within two to three days.” The current situation appears to be that defense kits would only reach citizens in the north of Israel 4 to 7 days after a decision was made while the rest of the country might have to wait several weeks. The committee report also notes that the existing protective kits are in poor condition and goes on to urge the immediate spending of NIS 1 to ensure that residents in the North are provided with kits. –Sheera Claire Frenkel , “Knesset report: Home front not prepared for war. It would take 4-7 days for gas masks to reach North, weeks for the rest of the country,” Jerusalem Post, 17 July 2007, p. 3. 15 August 2007 The Israeli Defense Minister has suspended the planned [re]distribution of gas masks to the Israeli public because of fears the move could be taken by Syria as preparation for imminent war and trigger a pre-emptive attack by Damascus. The Israeli previously collected all previously (c. 1991) distributed gas masks for refurbishing and subsequent redistribution. –Abraham Rabinovich “Israeli gas mask handout on hold,” The Australian, 15 August 2007, p. 12. 11 September 2007 Israeli Defense Ministry officials announce that despite rising tensions with Syria the Ministry will not begin distributing gas masks to the civilian population. Defense officials explain that there is concern “that if gas masks were distributed the move would be interpreted as Israeli preparations for war and that Syria would as a result decide to attack.” –Yaakov Katz, “Ministry holds off on gas mask distribution. Fears move could be interpreted as preparation for war,” Jerusalem Post, 11 September 2007, p. 2. 5-9 November 2007 An Israeli delegation attends the 12th Session of the Conference of the States Party (CSP) to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in the Hague as an observer. [Note: As a state that has neither signed nor acceded to the CWC the Israeli delegates can only attend the open sessions of the CSP]. –C-12/INF.3/Rev.1: List of Participants to the Twelth Session of the Conference of the States Parties: 5 – 9 November 2007, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 9 November 2007, . 24 March 2008 According to Ynet News a secret report recently distributed to Israeli government ministries and local municipalities details a variety of scenarios that may be expected in the next Israeli war. The report draws on lessons from the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah and anticpates missile attacks from Iran, Lebanon and Syria. The base scenario’s envisage 100-230 civilian deaths, and 1,900-3,200 injuries. However, the report goes on to claim that “should Israel be attacked with chemical weapons, the number of killed and wounded Israelis would skyrocket to 16,000.” –Itamar Eichner “Report: Iranian, Syrian missiles to pound Israel in next war,” Ynet News, 24 March 2008, . 6-10 April 2008 The Israeli government "Rahel" (National Emergency Authority) in cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command, local authorities, different governmental offices, security and rescue teams and the educational system conducts a comprehensive national training exercise. The purpose of the exercise is to prepare for various emergency situations, primarily of a war-related nature including scenarios involving attacks against Israel employing chemical weapons. The exercise, which includes a test of the national alert system, is described as the largest such exercise in Israel’s history. –“National Home Front Training Exercise for Israeli Security and Rescue Forces,” Israel Defense Forces website, accessed 14 April 2008, . 7-18 April 2008 An Israeli delegation attends the 2nd CWC Review Conference in The Hague.

As Israel has not ratified its signature of the CWC, its delegation can only participate as observers. –Report of the Second Special Session of the Conference of the States Parties to Review the Operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Second Review Conference), 7 – 18 April 2008, RC-2/4, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 18 April 2008, p. 1, . 29 June 2008 Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i announces that Israeli reservists and civilians will begin to receive refurbished gas mask kits in January 2009. Vilna’i also states that Home Front command will no longer be responsible for the distribution unless war should break out before the end of the year. Instead he announces a tender for private sector companies to take charge of the redistribution. –Yaakov Lappin “New gas masks to be issued in January,” Jerusalem Post, 30 June 2008, p. 1. 16 July 2008 Two prominent members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) and MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) chairman of the Subcomittee for Readiness hold a press conference during which they call on the government to begin immediate distribution of gas masks to the public. Steinitz noted that “between four million and five million gas mask sets are currently sitting in warehouses awaiting distribution.” He further noted that although the government had pledged to begin distribution in Northern Israel before the end of 2007 nothing had as yet been done. –Rebecca Anna Stoil Yaakov Lappin “FADC: Hand out gas masks immediately,” Jerusalem Post, 16 July 2008, p. 5.

Biological Weapons: Israel is not a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). It is assumed that the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona develops vaccines and antidotes for chemical and biological warfare.[10] While Israel is not known to be producing biological weapons currently, there remains speculation that Israel’s ability to start production and dissemination, if necessary, remains active.[11] Biological Overview Little is known about Israel’s biological warfare (BW) program. Israel has not signed the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Conventions (BTWC), nor explained the reasons behind its refusal to sign. Moreover, Israel has revealed virtually nothing about its activities and capabilities in the BW field; it has never issued a public policy statement on the question of BW. For all practical purposes, Israel acts as if it maintains a policy of biological ambiguity It is commonly assumed that Israel maintains an advanced BW program, but the exact nature of the program – and whether any of it could be defined as offensively oriented – is unclear. An effort to reconstruct Israel’s BW history, status, and capabilities is inescapably both conjectural and interpretative. History In April 1948, only weeks before the State of Israel was declared, David Ben-Gurion, the nation’s founding father and first prime minister, wrote a letter to Ehud Avriel, one of the Jewish Agency’s operatives in Europe, asking him to seek out and recruit East European Jewish scientists who could "either increase the capacity to kill masses or to cure masses; both things are important." Put in plain language, Ben-Gurion’s request implied a search for experts in BW.[1] Ben-Gurion’s interest in BW should be placed in context. It so happened that all three scientists, who were close to Ben-Gurion at that time, Professor Ernst David Bergmann and the Katachalsky [Katzir] brothers, came from the fields of chemistry and microbiology. Professor Bergmann was already a well-established organic chemist, serving as Ben-Gurion’s unofficial adviser on science and technology. The Katachalsky brothers, Aharon and Ephraim, were among the first to study chemistry at the Hebrew University in the 1930s, where they conducted molecular research that linked organic chemistry with microbiology. They both received their Ph.D. in macromolecular chemistry in 1941. The outlook of these three scientists reinforced Ben-Gurion’s view that Israel’s leading edge in its struggle with its enemies depended on investing in science and technology.

These scientists were founders of the Science Corps within the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), a military branch known by the Hebrew acronym HEMED.[2] In early 1948, Alexander Keynan, a graduate student in microbiology and the leader of a small Haganah (the pre-state Jewish militia) group of students from the medical school of the Hebrew University, lobbied General Yigal Yadin, the Haganah operations chief, to establish a new unit within HEMED to be devoted to BW. Yadin and Bergmann gave their blessing, and Ben-Gurion needed little persuasion to approve it. On February 18, 1948, by order from Yadin, Keynan left Jerusalem for Jaffa, where he set up his new unit. Soon the new unit was named HEMED BEIT.[3] The creation of HEMED BEIT was controversial from the outset. Tight secrecy characterized everything related to the activities of HEMED BEIT during the 1948 war. The biological unit was insulated and isolated, physically and organizationally, from all other HEMED units. To this day, all archival material relating to HEMED BEIT is classified, hence, unavailable to scholars. But rumors about secret BW operations in Palestinian villages and towns have persisted for years.[4] It is believed that one of the largest BW operations was in the Arab coastal town of Acre, north of Haifa, shortly before it was conquered by the IDF on May 17, 1948. According to Dr. Uri Milstein, an Israeli military historian, the typhoid epidemic that spread in Acre in the days before the town fell to the Israeli forces was not due to wartime chaos but rather the result of a deliberate covert action by the IDF—the contamination of Acre’s water supply.[5] Then, on May 23, 1948, Egyptian soldiers in the Gaza area caught four Israeli soldiers disguised as Arabs near water wells. A statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Defense on May 29, 1948, stated that four "Zionists" had been caught trying to infect artesian wells in Gaza with "a liquid, which was discovered to contain the germs of dysentery and typhoid." The four Israelis were put on trial, convicted, and executed by hanging three months later.[6] At the time, Israel denied the Egyptian allegations about "bacteriological warfare," calling it a "wicked libel." It admitted only that the Israeli soldiers were involved in an intelligence operation aimed at monitoring military movements and assessing the morale of the Arab population.[7]

Still, there are many unresolved questions regarding the entire HEMED BEIT activities in the 1948 war: Was the failed Gaza operation an isolated or nearly isolated Israeli experiment with BW that ended with that failure, or part of a larger campaign? If the latter is true, how widespread was the campaign and against whom was it directed? What was the strategic rationale? No Palestinian references exist alleging that the epidemics in Acre had resulted from Israeli sabotage. The absence of Arab reports on this incident may suggest either that the "bacteriological warfare" campaign, if it occurred, yielded limited results, or that in the chaos of the war the Palestinian refugees were unaware of the campaign. Also, if the BW operations were aimed primarily at preventing the return of the Palestinian population to their deserted villages, as Milstein claims, this could explain the relative lack of evidence of such operations. Ultimately, however, the creation of HEMED BEIT must be understood, and judged, in the context of its time. It took place only three years after the end of World War II, at a time when the Zionist movement had just started to grapple with the devastating blow the Jewish people had suffered in the Nazi Holocaust. As a matter of historical context, every major World War II combatant had a BW program.[8] In 1949, a period of reorganization began both at the IDF and the civilian Ministry of Defense (MOD). By the end of the war, the BW unit, HEMED BEIT, was effectively no longer under HEMED’s control. As the military budget shrank in 1950-51, the IDF was determined to rid itself of the burden of supporting HEMED. As part of the organizational restructuring, HEMED was converted into a group of MOD-sponsored civilian research centers called "Machons." The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) was founded in 1952, as a result of this restructuring, from the merger of two Machons, one of which was a continuation of HEMED BEIT. The building in the fenced grove outside Ness Ziona, which had served as the base of HEMED BEIT, became the home of IIBR. Alexander Keynan, who had led HEMED BEIT, was IIBR’s first director.[9] Furthermore, while the official mandate and rationale for IIBR’s research was national security, it appears that Bergmann and Keynan were trying to extend and broaden the research mandate for the new scientific institute.

They apparently hoped to build IIBR as the flagship for "national science": a research center that would conduct defense research but would also serve as the nation’s main laboratory for chemistry and biology. It would mirror the functions of the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and even the National Institute of Health (NIH). These different philosophies about the role of IIBR—a limited scientific infrastructure for chemical and biological weapons (CBW) research versus Bergmann’s and Keynan’s vision of a "national science" center—resulted in a long dispute within the MOD about the mission and role of IIBR. As to the role of CBW in Israel’s concept of national security, all indications are that from early on Ben-Gurion and his associates viewed the atomic bomb as Israel’s ultimate deterrence weapon, not CBW. Nevertheless, in the 1950s and 1960s, when Israeli nuclear capability was still far off in the future, Israeli leaders probably viewed CBW as the nation’s doomsday weapons, Israel’s weapons of last resort. Even in those early days, however, it appears that Israeli strategists distinguished clearly between chemical weapons and biological weapons. Chemical weapons were viewed as "nasty" but still usable weapons that Arab armies might use in the battlefield in a meaningful military fashion. The perception of biological weapons was different. Israeli military leaders did not view biological weapons as feasible military weapons for the battlefield, primarily because wars in the Middle East are short. But they recognized that biological weapons could be used in conflict as the ultimate weapons of terror.[10] From its early days the primary mandate of the IIBR was to serve as the institutional base of Israel’s commitment to maintain adequate physical infrastructure and human R&D expertise in the CBW areas.

While it was recognized that Israel as a state must have a national infrastructure and expertise in these areas, the BW threat was not perceived as real and/or imminent. This assessment fits well with the relatively small size and budget of IIBR, which remained largely steady for decades.[11] During the 1970s and 1980s, IIBR, suffered chronic budgetary and organizational difficulties; apparently on at least two occasions, IIBR even faced the possibility of being shut down as an independent research institution. A great deal of IIBR’s budget came from specific scientific projects, many of them were non-classified (often from foreign sources) with no direct bearing on defense. One critical response to these financial difficulties was IIBR’s effort to promote the commercialization of its products and services. Since the 1970s, IIBR has become increasingly involved in all kinds of "for profit" unclassified R&D contracts, some of them with non-Israeli entities (such as the U.S. Army). In 1979, in response to financial difficulties, Dr. Israel Hartmann, a former director of IIBR, set up a commercial subsidiary, Life Science Israel Research (LSIR), at the IIBR campus. Its purpose is to promote chemical and biomedical projects and to market products and services developed by IIBR. LSIR also represents IIBR in all kinds of collaborations, joint ventures, and partnerships with private and public companies, all done on a commercial basis and with non-classified research. Saddam Hussein is probably the single man most responsible for the dramatic growth of Israel’s defensive BW infrastructure. Over the last decade, under the energetic leadership of IIBR director Dr. Avigdor Shafferman, IIBR as the institutional base of Israel’s CBW infrastructure has witnessed an unprecedented period of expansion.

When the Gulf War started in January 1991, it became evident that Israel was totally unprepared for the possibility of being attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles with chemical or biological weapon warheads. Thus Israel’s policy-makers decided that those major national deficiencies must be repaired. Throughout the mid-1990s revelations about Iraq’s BW program (especially the fact that Saddam considered Israel as the target for his BW program), prompted further secret expansion of Israel’s BW infrastructure. In the late 1990s, major new funds were allocated to develop an adequate defensive response, at the national level, to the Iraqi CBW threat as well as to other new bioterrorism threats. The IIBR became the primary body responsible for formulating and executing a national concept of defense against various scenarios of BW threats (primarily Anthrax bacterium [Bacillus anthracis]). The IIBR campus was expanded with new buildings, laboratories, and scientific equipment, and its staff has grown with the hiring of many new scientists.

Status Israel has not signed the 1972 BTWC, nor has it ever explained the reasons behind its refusal. In fact, Israel has never issued a public policy statement on BW, and it acts as if it maintains a policy of biological ambiguity. The official unclassified versions of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) reports on WMD do not name Israel as having a BW program, but this may reflect the focus of these reports on U.S. opponents. However, unofficially, and based on most previous intelligence reviews, U.S. government officials acknowledge that Israel is believed to possess biological weapons.[12] While it is assumed that Israel is advanced in R&D biodefense and possibly even maintains some sort of BW agent production capability, it is very doubtful that Israel actually produces or stockpiles BW agents (beyond defensive needs). In 2007, it was revealed that in response to a perceived Iraqi threat Israel had independently developed an anthrax vaccine during the latter half of the 1990s.[13] Capabilities Israel’s national scientific-technical R&D capabilities in the BW field are believed to be advanced but the specifics are unknown. In the absence of any public data, it is difficult to assess the precise nature of Israel’s capabilities in the BW field. About a decade ago, a Dutch reporter named Karel Knip conducted the most extensive investigation into the history and research activities of IIBR, where Israel’s BW research is undertaken. By searching Internet-based databases of scientific and medical literature, Knip turned up hundreds of scientific publications written by some 140 scientists affiliated with IIBR over nearly 50 years. Aided by eminent world authorities on CBW, Knip reconstructed a rough history of the kind of research that was conducted at IIBR in Ness Ziona.[14] On the biological side, Knip’s survey identified several types of disease agents (pathogens), toxins, and incapacitants studied at IIBR. Since the early to mid-1950s, much of the research activity focused on the causative agents of plague bacterium (Yersinia pestis), Typhus bacterium (Rickettsia prowazekii), and rabies, followed later on by studies on breeding insects that transmit those diseases, such as mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Interestingly, Knip noted that he found almost no IIBR publications about the standard biological weapons that Iraq produced, such as Anthrax bacterium and the Botulinum toxin, even though it is "inconceivable" (in his words) that IIBR has not conducted research into these areas. However, a more current literature search adds Anthrax bacterium to the list. It is evident that a large group of IIBR scientists has been working on Anthrax bacterium for some time.[15] Another central area of study at IIBR since the 1950s has been research on various kinds of toxins: non-living poisons derived from plants, animals, and bacteria. According to Knip’s bibliographical review, IIBR has done research on at least 15 different toxins, some of which may have been intended for use in special covert operations. One toxin on the list is Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB), a potent incapacitating toxin produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. SEB was one of the toxin agents weaponized by the U.S. offensive BW program. Knip’s overall conclusion is that IIBR, since its establishment in the early 1950s, has been involved in a diverse array of research activities that, when put together, imply the possibility of offensive BW research.[16] Although a survey of published scientific literature is a good tool to reconstruct some of the institutional research interests at IIBR, it is important to recognize its limitations. Open bibliographical analysis can suggest institutional trends, but it cannot indicate whether Israel has an offensively oriented BW program. Medical and agricultural research institutions worldwide conduct extensive basic research on disease-causing microorganisms. For this reason, Israel’s motivations in the BW field, defensive or offensive, cannot be inferred merely from the existence of research activities involving potential BW agents. Knip’s bibliographical survey confirms what has been presumed all along and what IIBR seems to imply through its own website: that Israel has substantial research capabilities relevant to both defensive and offensive BW. Still, to make judgments about Israeli intentions, motivations, and strategy in the BW area—especially regarding production and weaponization—one needs to know much more. Lacking hard information, foreign-based publications have made all kinds of claims, from the mundane to the fantastic, about Israel’s BW capabilities.[17] As a matter of policy, the Israeli government has refused to comment on these reports. For this reason, any assessment of Israel’s BW program and capabilities is inevitably tentative and speculative. Although most analysts believe that Israel has maintained some limited offensive BW capabilities, it is difficult to characterize exactly what those capabilities are and their current status.[18] The U.S. government has never included Israel in its public list of states with an offensive BW capability, although it has been argued that Israel is one of two unnamed states on the list of 12 nations assessed to have an offensive program. A 1993 report on weapons proliferation by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service included an ambiguous characterization of Israel’s BW capability: There is no direct evidence of the presence of biological weapons in Israel. At the same time, according to various indications, a ramified program of biological research of a general nature, in which elements of a military-applied purpose are present, is being implemented in Israel. Specifically, Israeli research centers are cooperating closely with the American military laboratories within the framework of a US Defense Department program for protection against biological weapons. As a whole, Israel possesses a strong civilian biotechnology base, which, if necessary, could be redirected fairly easily to the production of biological weapons.[19] Organizations/Facilities The overall executive and coordinating agency in charge of all Israel’s activities in the non-conventional field—national policy, doctrine, R&D, production capabilities, preparedness, production, etc. —is the highly classified administration of Special Means (in Hebrew Emtzaim Myuchadim) at the MOD. The head of that bureau also has the title of Assistant to the Minister of Defense for Special Means. This Special Means Bureau at the MOD was established in 1992, by then-Minister of Defense Moshe Arens, as a direct lesson of the first Gulf War. During that war, as Israel was attacked by some 40 Iraqi Scud missiles, it became evident that too many governmental agencies and organizations had some responsibility for CBW threats, but no one was really in charge of the overall national coordination at the MOD. During the war, it became evident that Israel was not well prepared for an Iraqi CBW attack, there was no adequate chain of responsibility and command at the MOD, and there was no single authority responsible for overall coordination and preparations. The establishment of the new bureau at MOD was a direct response to this lack. The Special Means Bureau at the Israeli MOD coordinates the missions and activities of a number of organizations. The primary R&D organization in the area of BW is IIBR. Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) (In Hebrew: Ha-Machon Habiologi) The principal organization for scientific R&D (and, to some extent, also over matters of policy as well) in the BW area is the IIBR, which is located in the town of Ness Ziona. The IIBR’s primary mandate is to serve as the locus of Israel’s commitment to maintain and preserve physical infrastructure and human expertise in the area of CBW. Israel’s commitment to a "knowledge base" implies advanced applied research in areas relevant to BW and bio-terrorism. As noted earlier, the IIBR was founded in 1952 by Professor Ernest Bergmann—Ben-Gurion’s science adviser and the head of R&D at MOD—and Dr. Alexander Keynan. From its inception the IIBR was structured according to a "dual identity" system. For security and some other administrative/bureaucratic purposes, it was regarded as a highly classified defense research center ("Machon 2") operated and funded by the MOD’s Division of Research (EMET). But for representative and civic-scientific functions, however, it was named the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), under the jurisdiction of the prime minister’s office. Bergmann recognized the intrinsic civil-military ambiguity of CBW research and thought that giving the laboratory a broad research mandate would provide a legitimate cover for its scientists. By maintaining a legitimate structure and rationale for IIBR, Bergmann sought to attract first-rate scientists by offering them the kinds of intellectual and material benefits available at academic institutions: publishing research in scientific journals, attending conferences, taking sabbatical leaves, and so forth.[20] Today, more than five decades later, much of Bergmann’s founding concept has survived the passage of time, and the changes in both science and politics. On the organizational level, the IIBR, like the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, is still formally under the jurisdiction of the prime minister’s office, and all its employees are considered employees of the prime minister’s office. But IIBR is coordinated and budgeted by the Special Means Bureau at the MOD. On the doctrinal-policy level, the IIBR is the agency with the primary national responsibility to identify, analyze, articulate options, and ultimately implement Israel’s response to all CBW threats. The mission statement of IIBR—as it appears in its website—reflects its broad scientific mandate, built upon the ambiguity of dual use. In accordance with this philosophy IIBR’s expertise are presented in the following vague way: "Backed by five decades of experience, IIBR combines highly trained personnel with cutting-edge technologies and infra-structure to conduct applied research and development in the fields of biology, medicinal chemistry and environmental sciences, in addition to basic research studies emanating from and closely related to IIBR’s applied projects."[21] According to its website, IIBR is organized into three scientific divisions—Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences—which "cooperate in a synergistic relationship, enabling the formation of optimum interdisciplinary teams tailored to the needs of each individual project."[22] "The Institute’s staff comprises approximately 350 employees, 150 of whom are scientists holding doctorates in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, analytic, organic and physical chemistry, pharmacology, mathematics, physics and environmental sciences. IIBR’s technical staff consists of 160 certified technicians, representing a broad spectrum of capabilities."[23] IIBR’s capabilities and expertise are consistent with a full array of activities associated with a sophisticated BW program, both on the defensive and offensive sides. Yet the website carefully avoids the issues of policy motivations and intent for IIBR’s research. As long as Israel as a nation has no policy statement on the matter of BW, the objectives behind IIBR’s capabilities remain obscure—even suspicious—as well. Sources: [1] Ben-Gurion’s letter to Avriel, dated March 4, 1948, is cited in Michael Keren, Ben-Gurion and the Intellectuals (Sdeh Boker: The Ben-Gurion Research Center Press, 1988 [in Hebrew]), p. 32. [2] Avner Cohen, "Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons: History, Deterrence, and Arms Control," The Nonproliferation Review 8 (Fall-Winter 2001), pp. 29-30. [3] Ibid, p. 31. [4] Sara Leibovitz-Dar, "Haydakim Besherut Hamedinah" [Microbes in State Service], Hadashot, August 13, 1993, pp. 6-10. [5] Cohen, "Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons," p. 31-33. [6] Thomas J. Hamilton, "Arab Assails the Idea of Minority Shifts," New York Times, July 24, 1948; see also Leibovitz-Dar, "Haydakim Besherut Hamedinah." [7] In 1993, however, when Israeli journalist Sarah Leibovitz-Dar asked the commander of Gaza operation whether the soldiers had been sent to gather intelligence or on a poisoning mission, he refused to respond. "You will not get answers on these questions," he said angrily. "Not from me, and not from anyone…" Leibovitz-Dar concluded that many people knew something about these operations; it was one of those open secrets that over time becomes a national taboo. Yet both participants and later historians chose to avoid the issue. See, Leibovitz-Dar, "Haydakim Besherut Hamedinah." [8] Also, one should look at the military situation as was perceived by the Haganah leaders in early 1948, the time when HEMED BEIT was created. In response to the imminent possibility of invasion of the Arab states, the Haganah prepared a broad strategic plan, known as Plan D, to face such a contingency. While it was not a grand plan of massive expulsion, it allowed the expulsion of hostile or potentially hostile Palestinian villagers. Until mid-1948 fears of Zionist defeat, possible even annihilation, were still held in the psyche of the Yishuv’s leadership. The creation of a Jewish state was not a sure proposition. The founders of HEMED BEIT shared this mind-set. They were committed to do whatever was necessary to establish a Jewish state in the land of Israel. They firmly believed that, after the Holocaust, that sacred mission could not be derailed by the luxury of moral revulsion against "dirty weapons." If microbiology could help in providing the means to establish the Jewish state, so be it. [9]

Cohen, "Israel and Chemical/Biological Weapons," pp. 32-33. [10] It is not known if, and to what extent, Bergmann and his IIBR colleagues made a distinction between defensive and offensive R&D. Given the climate of the times, and given the intrinsic dual nature of such research, it is highly doubtful. One might assume that they, like their CBW contemporaries in the West, thought about CBW primarily in terms of "offensive" use, and most likely in the context of retaliation. One should keep in mind that in those days, national CBW programs were not illegal, nor even at odds with international norms. In fact, by the 1950s all three major Western (and NATO) powers—the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—had significant offensive CBW capabilities. [11] Zafrir Rinat, "The Activity of IIBR focuses on Study of Disease Prevention," Haaretz, December 12, 1997. [12] Douglas Jehl, "U.S. Intelligence Review Is Softening Some Judgments About Illicit Arms Abroad", New York Times, November 18, 2003. [13] "Controversy Over Secret Anti-Anthrax Trials, Gas Mask Distribution Plague Israeli Passive Defense Efforts," WMD Insights, Issue 18, September 2007, p. 6-11, www.wmdinsights.com/ I18/ I18_ ME1_ Controversy Over Secret.htm; "Israel developed own anthrax vaccine," Agence France Presse, 15 May 2007; Dan Williams, "Israel developed version of anthrax vaccine," The China Post,16 May 07, www.chinapost.com.tw. [14] Karel Knip’s detailed expose, "Biologie in Ness Ziona," was published on February 27, 1999 in the Dutch (Rotterdam) daily newspaper, NRC Handelsband. The articles in Dutch can be found on the NRC website, www.nrc.nl/ w2/ Lab/ Ziona/. Karel Knip generously provided the author a nine-page English translation of his article under the title "Biology in Ness Ziona." All of the quotes that appear here are from the English document that Knip provided the author. [15] Ibid. [16] In Knip’s words, "The many hundreds of articles prove beyond doubt that the IIBR is Israel’s main center for research into both chemical and biological weapons. The research conducted at the Institute consists of a bizarre combination of activities which acquire significance within one specific context, that of chemical and biological warfare." [cite for this quote?] [17] Many of these sensationalist stories appeared in the London Sunday Times. One cites a biologist, who once held a senior post in the Israeli intelligence, stating that "there is hardly a single known or unknown form of chemical or biological weapon that is not manufactured at the Institute." Uzi Mahnaimi, "Israeli Jets Equipped for Chemical Warfare," London Sunday Times, October 4, 1998, www.sunday-times.co.uk. See also, "Israel’s Secret Institute," Foreign Report, August 20, 1998; "Israel’s Ness Ziona Mystery," Foreign Report, February 5, 1998. [18] U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Assessing the Risk, Report No. OTA-ISC-559 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993), pp. 65, 80. The OTA report cites 11 public sources (government and NGO arms control experts as well as media). As to the BW issue, the report cites six public sources of which four (67 percent) refer to Israel as "having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs" (Table 2-B-1, p. 82). [19] Russian Federation’s Foreign Intelligence Service, "A New Challenge After the Cold War: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction," January 28, 1993; translated into English by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FIBS), March 5, 1993, and published in U.S. Senate, Committee on Government Affairs, "Proliferation Threats of the 1990s". [20] In those days, national CBW programs were not illegal or even at odds with international norms. The 1925 Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use in war of CBW, is silent about developing, producing, and stockpiling such weapons. Moreover, many countries that ratified the Geneva Protocol did so while reserving the right to employ CBW for retaliation in kind. (In any case, Israel signed the 1925 Geneva protocol only in February 1969). By the 1950s, all three major Western (and NATO) powers–the United States, the United Kingdom, and France–had offensive CBW capabilities. Bergmann was well aware of those activities. [21] Website of The Israel Institute for Biological Research, www.iibr.gov.il [22] Ibid. [23] Ibid. This level of staffing constitutes an increase over that of 2004. The number of technical staff has increased from 100 to 160. Nonproliferation

Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It took part in a regional conference with the Union for the Mediterranean – including majority-Arab states – on 13 July 2008 to remove all weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East.