Eugene Kogan, a defense-industry analyst, writes in the Jamestown Foundation's China Brief that while Israel has rebuffed Taiwan's repeated attempts to revive relations with it, "when it comes to contact with China, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD) promotes a clear-cut policy. China is an extremely important trade partner for the Israeli defense industry. As a result, the MOD, which oversees the arms trade with China, has ensured that Israel maintains a positive relationship with the PRC [People's Republic of China], while avoiding any contact with Taiwan which might disrupt this partnership."
This paper is a history of the Israeli nuclear weapons program drawn from a review of unclassified sources. Israel began its search for nuclear weapons at the inception of the state in 1948. As payment for Israeli participation in the Suez Crisis of 1956, France provided nuclear expertise and constructed a reactor complex for Israel at Dimona capable of large-scale plutonium production and reprocessing. The United States discovered the facility by 1958 and it was a subject of continual discussions between American presidents and Israeli prime ministers. Israel used delay and deception to at first keep the United States at bay, and later used the nuclear option as a bargaining chip for a consistent American conventional arms supply.
After French disengagement in the early 1960s, Israel progressed on its own, including through several covert operations, to project completion. Before the 1967 Six-Day War, they felt their nuclear facility threatened and reportedly assembled several nuclear devices. By the 1973 Yom Kippur War Israel had a number of sophisticated nuclear bombs, deployed them, and considered using them. The Arabs may have limited their war aims because of their knowledge of the Israeli nuclear weapons. Israel has most probably conducted several nuclear bomb tests. They have continued to modernize and vertically proliferate and are now one of the world's larger nuclear powers. Using “bomb in the basement” nuclear opacity, Israel has been able to use its arsenal as a deterrent to the Arab world while not technically violating American nonproliferation requirements.
42. Abecasis, Rachel, “Uranium reportedly offered to China, Israel.” Radio Renascenca, Lisbon, 9 December 1992 quoted in Center for Nonproliferation, “Proliferation Issues,” 23 December, 1992, 25; on-line, Internet 22 November 1998, available from cns.miis.edu....
In 1990, during the Second Gulf War, an Israeli reserve major general recommended to America that it “use non-contaminating tactical nuclear weapons” against Iraq.113
India, another nuclear power, bring up questions of nuclear cooperation.105 Pakistani sources have already voiced concerns over a possible joint Israeli-Indian attack on Pakistan's nuclear facilities.106 A recent Parameters article speculated on Israel's willingness to furnish nuclear capabilities or assistance to certain states, such as Turkey.107 A retired Israeli Defense Force Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Amnon Shahak, has declared, “all methods are acceptable in withholding nuclear capabilities from an Arab state.”108
American-born Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard obtained satellite-imaging data of the Soviet Union, allowing Israel to target accurately Soviet cities. This showed Israel's intention to use its nuclear arsenal as a deterrent political lever, or retaliatory capability against the Soviet Union itself. Israel also used American satellite imagery to plan the 7 June 1981 attack on the Tammuz-1 reactor at Osiraq, Iraq.