Inside Story

Does Israel pose a nuclear threat to the world?

Israeli cabinet minister’s statement that an atomic bomb is an option for Gaza raises global alarm.

Israel’s nuclear programme is widely seen as one of the Middle East’s worst kept secrets.

It is believed to have originated in the 1950s. Today, Israel possesses about 90 nuclear bombs, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Israel has never officially acknowledged the existence of its nuclear weapons, but they’re believed to be aimed at rivals in the region such as Iran.

The country is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

So the statement by a cabinet minister that Israel could opt to drop an atomic bomb on Gaza is raising alarm. More so since hardliners such as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich are part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet.

So as Israel continues its bloodbath in Gaza, should the world be worried about its nuclear arms programme?

Presenter: James Bays


Rabia Akhtar – director of the Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research at the University of Lahore

Ahmed Abofoul – international lawyer and legal researcher and advocacy officer for Al Haq, a human rights organisation

Patrick Bury – defence and security expert at the University of Bath