from Sunday Herald, 5 July 2015
Disarmament campaigners have launched a legal challenge to Israel’s secretive nuclear agency, demanding that it be given democratic authorisation.
The Israeli Disarmament Movement has written to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requesting that he legislate for the existence of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission. Set up behind the scenes in 1952 to manage Israel’s nuclear activities, the commission has never been affirmed in law, campaigners say.
The commission runs two research reactors in Soreq and in the Negev desert, and says it helps develop nuclear energy for civil purposes. But it is widely suspected of also being involved in nuclear weapons development.
Israel maintains a deliberate policy of “nuclear ambiguity” and has never confirmed that it has nuclear weapons. But US experts have estimated it could have as many as 80 nuclear warheads.