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Israel ‘planned to detonate nuclear bomb in Egypt if it risked losing Six Day War’

Israel had a “doomsday” plan to detonate a nuclear bomb in Egypt’s Sinai desert if they felt they were in danger of losing the Six Day War in 1967, according to a report in the New York Times.

The scheme was designed to frighten Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan if Israel’s existence was threatened during the war, which took place 50 years ago this week.

The idea, never before publicly disclosed, was told to Avner Cohen, an Israeli author, by Itzhak Yaakov, a retired Brigadier General responsible for the development of nuclear weapons.

“You’ve got an enemy, and he says he’s going to throw you to the sea. You believe him,” Yaakov says in an interview provided to the New York Times by Cohen.

“How can you stop him? You scare him. If you’ve got something you can scare him with, you scare him.”

Yaakov said that he feared he could have been killed, along with his commando team, if the bomb had been detonated.

In the event, however, Israel won such an unexpectedly quick victory that there was no time to move the bomb to Sinai.

At the end of the war, Israel had captured Sinai and Gaza from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Though Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons is officially a secret, their existence has long been known and discussed outside the country.

In 2001, Yaakov was given a two-year suspended sentence in Israel for a previous attempt to disclose the plan to an Israeli reporter. He died in 2013.