ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Israeli Nuclear Weapons

Updated on March 9, 2011

Between 1948-60, Israel sought to produce nuclear bombs and during this time, the primary country that aided it in building nuclear reactors and in acquiring materials was France. America actually opposed it but much of the material Israel needed to build the bomb was from the USA but bought by France, which then shipped it to Israel.

Israel seriously pursued the weapon after the 1956 Suez crisis for security reasons and self perservation. French experts secretly built the Israeli reactor underground at Dimona, in the Negev desert of southern Israel near Beersheba.  Hundreds of French engineers and technicians filled Beersheba, the biggest town in the Negev.  Many of the same contractors who built Marcoule were involved. SON (a French firm) built the plutonium separation plants in both France and Israel.  The ground was broken for the EL-102 reactor (as it was known to France) in early 1958. Israel called the plant a manganese plant or a textile plant.  The United States by the end of 1958 had taken pictures of the project from U-2 spy planes, and identified the site as a probable reactor complex. By late 1960, Israel made it public. 

After the 1967 war, France stopped supplies of uranium to Israel. Israel was able to secure the needed ore through West Germany and Belgium via fake companies. They were able to obtain 200 tons of "yellow cake". Israel had two atomic bomb now. Egypt also found out about the nuclear reactor at Dimona and plans were made to destroy, however, Nasser vetoed them fearing failure. Starting in 1968, Israel could produce 3-5 nuclear bombs a year. In 1969, they obtained US aircraft that could also deliver them.

  By early afternoon on 7 October, 1973, no effective forces were in the southern Golan Heights and Syrian forces had reached the edge of the plateau, overlooking the Jordan River.  This crisis brought Israel to its second nuclear alert. Israel prepared to use 13 20 kiloton nuclear weapons as a last resort. The primary target was Damascus. However, the US imposed its will on Israel and started a massive resupply of military equipment by Oct 9, avoiding it. Meanwhile, Russia had discovered Israeli nukes also and sent two nuclear submarines near Egypt and provide them with  tow SCUD missile brigades armed with nuclear weapons by the 15th. Israel went into its third nuclear alert.

Luckily, Egypt and Israel agreed to peace. A nuclear bullet was dodged.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • m76gmm profile image


      7 years ago

      Israeli's cant use their nuclear weapons on the near Arab capitals cause of the effects that will affect them. Its firstly, the balance of fear and strength. Second, if Arabs from countries around occupied Palestine decided to only walk toward the occupied land, these weaponry will be effective-less.


    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks. It is all very interesting.

    • kephrira profile image


      7 years ago from Birmingham

      I also didn't know about the French involvement and it was an interesting read.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very interesting piece of history. I didn't know any of that. Thank you for writing this.

    • moncrieff profile image


      7 years ago from New York, NY

      Interesting hub. I didn't know about the French involvement. France should not have ever possessed nuclear weapons. Come think of it, it should not be even regarded as an ally in the WW2. And to provide nuclear resources to a barely established country in a troublesome region was even more absurd. I'm glad the USA and the USSR brought some sense to those conflicts and no nuclear war occured. Those two countries were really the guards of peace in the second half of the 20th century.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)