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Israeli Secret Nuclear Facility, Mordechai Vanunu, And Growing Tensions With Iran


For many years the nuclear programme of the state of Israel was shrouded in secrecy. Actually from the beginning of its existence in 1947, Israel never revealed their weapon arsenal, which turned out to be very dangerous, with the state‘s immense ‘hunger‘ for nuclear weapons. Although Israel is blaming Iran among other countries for having nuclear weapons, it never joined the International Atomic Energy Agency‘s Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

Fars News reports that a trench about the size of a soccer field is only meters from the old reactor at the Shimon Peres Negev nuclear factory, whose purpose is believed to be the production of nuclear materials for Israel’s nuclear bomb program. The nuclear facility is located near the city of Dimona.

Construction of the Dimona facility began in 1958 and its heavy-water nuclear reactorwent active sometime between 1962–1964. Israel claims that the nuclear reactor and research facility is for research purposes only. However, the purpose of the reactor is believed to be the production of nuclear materials that may be used in Israel’s nuclear weapons. According to many sources, the ‘old‘ nuclear facility is undergoing what appears to be its biggest construction project in decades, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press shows.

Mordechai Vanunu

Mordechai Vanunu is an Israeli defector. He is until now the only person known to reveal parts of Israel‘s atomic ‘secrets‘. He was a nuclear technician working at the Dimona facility and became a whistleblower in 1985. After that he flew to the Far East and Australia, selling his ‘secrets‘ to some English newspapers. After he made a trip to Rome, Italy, he was lured by an Israeli lover-spy, a woman called Cindy, and kidnapped, put on an Israeli warship, and brought back to Israel. There he was sentenced to eighteen years in prison, accused of treason. He was released in 2004, but put on house arrest. He later on fell in love with a Norwegian women, married her, but was still not allowed to leave Israel and most likely never will be. He made a lot of pictures in 1985, but of course, now in 2021, these are not relevant anymore for the nuclear programme. An overview of his photographs can be found here.

For many decades, Israel‘s nuclear programme has not been revealed. Many efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency to come open about it and let inspectors into the country have failed, obstructed by the US, which is the biggest ally of Israel. Israel has operated a big lobby in the US for many years already called AIPAC, and many sources claim that AIPAC is actually one of the ruling organizations inside the US. Every year the President of the US holds a speech at AIPAC, and it‘s also claimed that they are the biggest sponsor of the presidential elections, no matter which party. Four states: India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Sudan have never signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, a treaty designed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to make sure that nuclear energy will be used for peaceful, medical and scientific reasons only. India and Pakistan have publicly disclosed their nuclear weapon programs, while Israel has a long-standing policy of deliberately hiding its nuclear program. Later on North Korea and Iran were added to the list of signatories, but North Korea withdrew In January 2003. North Korea withdrew from the treaty after US officials said that Pyongyang had admitted to enriching uranium for nuclear weapons, which according to Pyongyang was not the case.


Iran signed up in 1970 but was found in non-compliance with the safeguards agreement, and the status of its nuclear program remains in dispute, according to the IAEA. In November 2003, IAEADirector General Mohamed El-Baradeireported that Iran had repeatedly over an extended period of time failed to meet its safeguards obligations under the treaty. Iran stated that their nuclear programme was for peaceful, medical and scientific purposes only. Between 2003 and 2016 negotiations went on with the IAEA, US and EU, which resulted in the JCPOA agreement in 2015. Former President Trump of the US canceled the treaty in 2018.

Iran is part of the so-called Axis of Resistance, which was formed in 2012, when the US and NATO, illegally, according to international law, waged war,by their proxies on Syria. Iran saw a big threat towards the stability of the region, which began with the illegal occupation in Iraq in 2003 and before. Iran forms the axis with Syria, parts of Iraq, the Houthi group of Yemen and Hezbollah of Lebanon. The Shia religion is dominant in these countries and groups. All these countries and groups are labelled under George‘s Bush Axis of Evil speech from 2002, where he unfolded his government‘s plans to destroy countries, including Syria, Iran and Iraq. The Axis of Resistance is opposing the Axis of Evil and is a threat to Israel.

Ongoing Threats

Under the ultra-right wing government of Benjamin Nethanyahu, Israel has become a totalitarian state, with emphasis on war with Iran and ignoring human rights about the Palestinians, which they see, together with Iran, as the biggest threat for their own security. They even formed alliances of peace with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. They all oppose the Iranian government because of the Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood Sunni ideology-religion. In Bahrain, the Shia majority is suppressed by the installed Saudi government. Under the rule of the Israeli Labour party of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (+) who was murdered by an Israeli extremist in 1995, Israel was heading towards the path of peace with its neighbours and finally wanted to acknowledge the Palestinians. They were also heading towards a two-state solution as agreed upon in the Oslo Accords, which was canceled under the rule of Benjamin Nethayahu and his war hawks government which bombed Gaza in 2014. The Prime Minister was Benyamin Nethanyahu and the Chief of Staff was Benny Gantz.

The Palestinian-Dutchman Ismail Ziada started a civil procedure in 2017 against Benny Gantz and against the former Air Force Commander Amir Eshel at the court in The Hague. Ziada holds them responsible for the deaths of six family members (his seventy-year-old mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and a twelve-year-old nephew) who were asleep in an apartment in a residential building in the Gaza Strip when (without warning) the Israeli Air Force bombed the building during the conflict in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014. Gantz was then Chief of Staff and Eshel Commander of the Air Force.

One of the latest incidents is the bombing of the Eastern parts of Syria‘s Deir-ez-Zor, which is on the border with Iraq. The US retaliated for the bombing of the Kurdish Autonomous region of Erbil. The rockets landed in and around a military air base operated by the (illegal) coalition of the US and SDF at Erbil International Airport. They accused Iran of supporting a fairly unknown group called Saraya Awliya al-Dam, who supposedly carried out the bombing.

And today Israel is accusing Iran and said that Iran was behind an attack on an Israeli merchant ship in the Gulf of Oman. Benjamin Nethayahu barked that Tehran was “Israel’s biggest enemy”, and his country was “hitting Iran back all across the region.” We will see how this is developing. Nethanyahu is under fierce attack in Israel because of corruption and how he handled the COVID-19 crisis.

Sonja van den Ende
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