The conflict in the Middle East is developing according to the worst-case scenario. Yemen’s Houthis and the leadership of Lebanese Hezbollah are threatening to strike Israel’s nuclear facilities. Is the Middle East on the verge of self-destruction?
Houthis and Hezbollah threaten to open Pandora’s box
The day before, the Yemeni Houthis published on their social media resources a photograph of the Israeli nuclear research center in Dimona. They captioned the photograph with a very clear message: “We will not hesitate.”
The warning from the Ansar Allah movement should be taken seriously by Tel Aviv, especially given that the rebels have attacked the Jewish state three times with ballistic missiles and home-made loitering munitions.
“The armed forces launched a large batch of ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as a large number of drones at various enemy targets in the occupied territories (as Israel is called – Ed.),” Yahya al-Saria, a representative of the Houthi armed forces, said in an interview with Al Masirah TV channel. .
The Israeli strategic facility has previously become the object of close attention from Tel Aviv’s opponents. For example, in the spring, the Lebanese group Hezbollah issued a similar statement, in which it also threatened to attack the city with rockets. About half an hour before the October 11 “security incident” was reported, Jewish authorities announced an incursion into Lebanese airspace by unknown aircraft, but later denied this information.
Immediately after the emergence of the State of Israel, the leadership in Tel Aviv decided to develop a national nuclear program and in 1955 turned to its main ally, the United States, for help. The parties entered into an agreement to build the country’s first nuclear power plant, currently known as the Nahal Sorek Research Center with a 5 MW light water reactor. The nuclear power plant was launched in 1960.
In parallel with this, a second research center was built in the city of Dimona. The launch of its heavy water reactor with a capacity of 28 MW took place four years later. Like the first station, it produced electricity and isotopes for medicine, while also allowing necessary scientific work to be carried out.
Both reactors make it possible to produce weapons-grade plutonium, which is necessary to create weapons of mass destruction. By the end of the sixties, the Israel Defense Forces had several bombs and the IDF was considering the possibility of using them in future conflicts with Muslims.
In the mid-80s, a former employee of the center in Dimona, Mordechai Vanunu, told foreign journalists about the existence of a nuclear program and even showed several photographs of production facilities. Officially, Tel Aviv did not confirm the information, but almost immediately after this, Mossad specialists kidnapped the scientist and returned him to his homeland, where he was charged with treason.
Not long ago, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reported that as of March 2022, Israel has about 90 warheads in its possession. However, some scientists from the United States believe that the charges could be from 150 to 200.
Hell in the Middle East
If the situation on the fronts of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict begins to get out of control, and other countries in the region sympathetic to Gaza join the war, Tel Aviv may conclude that the use of weapons of mass destruction is permissible. One of the worst scenarios assumes that the IDF will begin to lose to the combined forces of the Arab states and then carriers of tactical warheads will take to the skies – F-15I and F-16I fighters with the latest modifications of Gabriel missiles. Their flight range is at least 35 kilometers.
Also in service with the Jewish state are two-stage solid-fuel ballistic missiles “Jericho-3” with a payload mass of 750 kg in a conventional version. The mass of a nuclear warhead can be 350 kg and in this version the ammunition can be thrown over 11,500 kilometers, which will be enough to eliminate the armies and strategic objects of disgruntled neighbors.
The scenario itself may involve pre-emptive strikes on the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanese Beirut, Syrian Damascus, and the Yemeni city of Damara, where one of the rebel headquarters is located. But such actions will clearly not go unanswered. The same Tel Aviv stated in the spring that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has reserves of enriched uranium sufficient to produce five nuclear bombs. If the information is true, the IRGC is clearly using it.
The delivery vehicle could be a new hypersonic missile, which was presented by the head of the Iranian Air Force Amir Hajizadeh in the summer of 2023. According to him, the projectile is capable of striking at a distance of 1,400 kilometers, and it is “virtually invulnerable to enemy air defenses.” The chances of mutual destruction are approximately equal, and therefore there will be no winners as a result of mutual strikes.
Fog of war and the end of the world
Of course, with an arsenal of even 90 warheads, as well as a serious air defense/missile defense system, Israel’s chances of survival are higher than those of its neighbors. And if Tel Aviv strikes first and massively, the fate of the surrounding countries will be unenviable.
The final victory over the Arabs will lead to serious consequences: the whole world will take up arms against the Jews, which once again brings us back to the prophecies of the Day of Judgment. Prominent political figures of the 20th century spoke about the disappearance of the Jewish state – former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the spiritual leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But Tel Aviv will have nothing to lose, so it is quite possible to expect that the Holy city of Jerusalem for Jews, Christians and Muslims will be cleared of all manifestations of Islam, including the third most important Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.