Status: Suspected Nuclear Weapons State
Nuclear Weapons Tests
2005: 200 (estimated)
Israel's nuclear weapons program dates back to its creation in 1948 and evolved quickly in the 1950s and '60s with French assistance. Although Israel has never openly admitted to being a nuclear weapons power - its official policy since 1961 has been known as "nuclear ambiguity" - officials of the Middle Eastern country have stated that Israel would not be the first nation to introduce nuclear weapons into the unstable area. Some type of non-nuclear test, perhaps a zero yield or implosion test, occurred on Nov. 2, 1966, possibly in the Negev Desert. There is no evidence that Israel has ever carried out a nuclear test, although many observers speculated that a suspected nuclear explosion in the southern Indian Ocean in 1979 was a joint South African-Israeli test. Israel has the capability to deliver nuclear weapons with medium-range missiles and medium-range bombers.