Deadly disease
 
He told Israel Radio that the vaccine programme had been ordered amid fears of an anthrax attack by Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, and because foreign-made vaccines were not available.
 
"It seemed clear that the Iraqis would use it [anthrax] against us," he said.

"It is not possible to buy abroad a large quantity of vaccine, which exists only in the United States or in England.

"Therefore the state of Israel had to develop its own vaccine."

Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease and its spores can be used in germ warfare to infect victims.

Israel's defence ministry said in a response to the programme that the military had conducted "research in the context of protecting the state of Israel's populace against a strategic threat".

The United States has long required that its troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea be vaccinated against anthrax.