The independent resource on global security


Israel continues to maintain its long-standing policy of nuclear opacity: it neither officially confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons.  In December 2014 the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on nuclear proliferation risks in the Middle East that urged Israel to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons, accede to the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (Non-Proliferation Treaty, NPT) ‘without further delay’ and place all of its nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) comprehensive safeguards.

It is estimated that Israel has approximately 80 nuclear weapons. Of these, approximately 30 are gravity bombs for delivery by aircraft. The remaining 50 weapons are for delivery by Jericho II medium-range ballistic missiles, which are believed to be based with their mobile launchers in caves at a military base east of Jerusalem. The operational status of a new Jericho III intermediate-range ballistic missile is unknown. In 2013 Israel conducted a launching test of a ‘rocket propulsion system’, which appeared to be for a Jericho III missile.