ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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WEST ASIA-Israel and the Bomb

March 4, 1978 WEST ASIA Israel and the Bomb S K Ghosh THE recent (26 January 1978) disclosure by the US Central Intelligence Agency that Israel has been producing nuclear weapons since 1974 has not come as a surprise. In fact, Israel's nuclear capability has been the subject matter of speculation all over the world for a number of years now. As early as July 17, 1970, the New York Times had come out with a report that American officials assumed that Israel either possessed the bomb or had component parts available for quick assembly or the weapon. Ten days before the Times report, on July 7, in a testimony a closed-door hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the CIA Director Richard Helms had said that Israel had the technical ability to manufacture nuclear weapons. More recently, Herbert York of the University of California at San Diego, who was a former Director of Weapons Development and Research, has said that, of the dozen nations which seem to be heading towards development of atomic weapons, Israel is widely suspected or having a few untested but highly- reliable atomic bombs ready for testing or use. Earlier in March 1976, the Washington Post had come out with a sensational report that Israel was estimated to possess between ten and twenty nuclear weapons "ready and available for use''. Giving senior CIA officials as its source, the Post said that the United States had found out about Israeli nuclear activity presumably through spy satellites.
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