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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Nes Ziyyona
3155'35"N 3448'12"E

Israel is believed to have the capacity to produce chemical warfare agents, and probably has stocks of bombs, rockets, and artillery shells. Public reports that a mustard and nerve gas production facility was established in 1982 in the Dimona restricted area are apparently erroneous. Israel is also probably poised to rapidly produce biological weapons, though there are no public reports of currently active production effort or associated locations.

In 2008 the US Congressional Research Service reported that unclassified sources indicated that several nations were considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability, including China, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, and Syria.

Israel's biotechnology industry is relatively new and an offspring of its American counterpart. Its creation in the late 1960s resulted from the establishment in Israel of subsidiaries of foreign pharmaceutical companies. Many economists call biotechnology a "natural" Israeli industry. Its primary input has been data from research and university laboratories. The only other major ingredient has been American capital to support research and development activity. The main areas of research in the mid-1980s included genetic engineering, human and animal diagnostics, agricultural biofertilization, and aquatic biotechnology.

Israel's primary chemical and biological warfare facility is at Nes Ziyyona [Noss Ziona], near Tel Aviv. The Israeli Institute for Bio-Technology is believed to be the home of both offensive and defensive research.

Israel's chemical and biological warfare activities and associated facilities are very poorly attested in the open literature. The date of construction of such facilities is unknown, and it cannot be excluded that the facility at Nes Ziyyona is of rather recent vintage. In any event, important elements of a relatively small scale chemical and biological weapons program could be conducted in fairly small facilities that might lack evident signatures.

Declassified CORONA imagery from 1971 reveals a possible special weapons related facility in the Nes Ziyyona area. The facility consists of about a dozen buildings, apparently surrounded by a security perimeter which encloses extensive vegetation that would block external observation of the facility. The outer security perimeter is apparently associated with a patrol path for security guards. The facility apparently consists of two complexes. The first complex is a possible access control and administrative area, located near the single entry point to the facility. The second complex, in the interior of the facility, is surrounded by an area cleared of vegetation, which may be associated with an additional inner security perimeter. This second complex consists of several buildings which are not inconsistent with small scale agent development and production.


August 6 1970




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Page last modified: 21-09-2012 16:27:39 ZULU