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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

  State Information Service(SIS)
Ministry of Information (MOI)
  Arab Republic of Egypt

Letter from Cairo

No. 61
January 12-15, 1997

Likud and Israel's Nuclear Arsenal

The Likud Party has developed a very complex policy towards Israel's nuclear armaments. The term complex also describes the party's envisionment of dismantling the nuclear arsenal under the umbrella of a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A compendium of domestic elements, however, should be noted in this respect:
1- Israel's nuclear armament has always been a political, military and scientific issue.
2- It has also been a strategic issue.
3- Israel's nuclear legacy is directly associated with the Labor Party, the Likud great contribution notwithstanding.

Three principal tenets have been laid down by the Labour Party which stand to govern the nuclear issue in Israel:
1- Continued development of Israel's nuclear force.
2- The nuclear no-admission no-denial strategy.

Labour has also laid down the foundations of the Israeli attitude in dealing with the nuclear issue in the Middle East.

Whereas the Labour Party adopted a no-admission no-denial policy as regards possession of nuclear arms, Likud, when in power from 1977 to 1984, threatened to use nuclear weapons against its Arab neighbors.

Nuclear arms were thus used as a means of forcing acceptance by Arab states of Israel's dictates. It was also in that period (1977-1984) that the Israeli precept of maintaining nuclear monopoly in the Middle East was conceived. Accordingly, Israel undertook, then, a wide-scale deployment of its nuclear arsenal.

The dismantling of Israel's nuclear arms is related directly, in Israeli thinking, with the creation of a nuclear free-zone in the Middle East. The Likud has certain reservations, however. For the Likud governments in general are never ready to negotiate the issue. Moreover, too many details and complications are apparently involved to make nuclear dismantling emperically bordering on the impossible.

The general Israeli envisionment renders is possible to create a nuclear free-zone in the Middle East only under the umbrella of an on-going peaceful settlement on the condition :
1- that negotiations over the free-zone is undertaken after peace has been established and after implementation of the peace agreement is guaranteed and wide-scale cooperation with Israel is insured; and
2- actual creation of the free-zone is carried out in accordance with a general regional agreement.

courtesy:Seyasa Al-Dawleya - Issue No. 127 - January 1997 - Mohamad Abdel Salam

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