Tuesday, December 28, 2010

50 years ago: Israel denies reports that it's working toward producing atomic bombs

On December 20, 1960, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Avram Harman called on U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter to deny reports that Israel, with French aid, was developing the capacity to produce atomic bombs. Mr. Harman confirmed that a nuclear reactor was being built in the Negev Desert with French aid but that it was "exclusively for peaceful purposes."

On December 21, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion told the Knesset that reports of an Israeli A-bomb program were "deliberate or undeliberate" untruths.

On December 22, the U.S. State Department said that it felt that the Israeli nuclear reactor project "does not represent a cause for special concern."

On December 23, United Arab Republic President Gamal Nasser warned that any attempt by Israel to build an atomic bomb would mean war with the U.A.R.

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