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Allon Spurns Bids That Israel Should Acquire a Nuclear Option

Foreign Minister Yigal Allon rejected recent suggestions that Israel should acquire a nuclear option. He termed such proposals a sign of despair and reiterated last night that Israel would stand by its pledge not to be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. Proposals to acquire a nuclear option have been made by several personalities, among them former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan.

Allon said there were no grounds for despair because the military balance between Israel and its neighbors remains unchanged. It could be improved, he said, if Israel made an effort to boost its economic and social infrastructure.

Allon also reiterated Israel’s readiness to discuss arms reductions with all nations in the area, even before a peace settlement or a cessation of belligerency has been formally established He recalled that he had made such a proposal at the United Nations a year ago. The current arms race can only bring destruction to our region, he warned.

Allon made his remarks during award ceremonies here of the Itzhak Sadeh Prize for antiwar literature. The recipient was Yoram Tzafrir whose book “Being Wounded,” described the life of a wounded soldier at a Beersheba hospital. Tzafrir was wounded by a mine.

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