The main promoter of the idea of equipping Israel with nuclear military capacity was David Ben-Gurion. He believed that if the Arabs understood that Israel had nuclear capacity, they would abandon the idea of destroying it, and long-term peace would be achieved in the region. During October 1956 the French convened a secret meeting to coordinate a military operation against Egypt. In these agreements, France committed to construct a one-megaton nuclear reactor for Israel in Dimona (October 1957). The main architect of the signing and development of the agreement was Shimon Peres. Those who opposed the idea argued that it was a very expensive project, that would confront Israel and the United States, or that Israel’s safety was not based on attaining a nuclear bomb, but in avoiding the nuclearization of the region. In 1963, with the arrival of Eshkol to the presidency and the pressure by President Kennedy, there was a change in the policy and the nuclear development was downsized to a lower profile. Dr. Abner Cohen affirms that at the end of May 1967, during the “waiting period” before the Six-Day War, Israel was able to build an improvised nuclear device after intense activity. The only alleged nuclear test directed by Israel is known as the Vela incident. On Sep/22/1979, US satellite Vela, built to detect nuclear testing, informed about a blaze, typical of a nuclear detonation, south of the Indian Ocean. According to journalist Seymour Hersh, this event was the third joint nuclear test by Israel and South Africa. The ex-Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Egyptian Mohamed El-Baradei, considers Israel as a State in possession of nuclear weapons. It is estimated that Israel has between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads.
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