Experts Say

Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program

January 5, 2018
By Val Reynoso

Israel's nuclear-weapons program was initiated by the founding prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, who stated that Israel could only survive as a newly formed, fiscally poor nation if it possessed nuclear weapons to deter militaries, such as those from then-enemies Egypt and Jordan. Israel made an agreement in 1957 with France, which helped install a plutonium-based facility in the Israeli city of Dimona. The United States was a close political ally to Israel, but was not prepared to provide Israel with nuclear weapons. The nuclear facility was built under extreme secrecy in the Israeli Negev desert near Dimona in 1958.
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