- Israel Had Nukes During 1967 War, Was Ready for ‘Last Resort’ Use – Ex-Officer
Israel neither confirms nor denies that it has a nuclear arsenal, although experts estimate that the country has between 80 and 400 nuclear warheads. What has not been previously confirmed, until now, is that the country had access to such weapons during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, and was ready to deploy them if threatened with defeat.
Israel had amassed enough plutonium for between two and three nuclear bombs during the Six-Day War, Elie Geisler, a former radiation-safety officer tasked with guarding one of the radioactive “packages,” has revealed in testimony for Israeli-American nuclear history specialist Dr Avner Cohen.
“I would stand in this small room and stare at the object with much awe, having seen photos and movies of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From time to time, I would discuss with the commander of the troops the procedures to move the core to an assembly point, where it would join with the remainder of the device,” Geisler recalled in his testimony recently published in The Non-Proliferation Review journal.
According to Geisler’s recollections, the device consisted of a wooden crate about forty cubic feet in volume containing a metallic half-sphere, with his mission being to measure radiation levels using Geiger and other counters. The officer recalled that each time he found himself alone with the device, he would “silently pray and wish that we should never employ this horrific invention of humanity.”