A court has prevented Israeli nuclear whistleblower, Mordechai Vanunu, from leaving Israel under the pretext that, while unconfined, he could still be a threat to Tel Aviv.
Vanunu, under orders not to leave Israel and not to speak to media people, "has proved several times he cannot be trusted and does not respect the letter of the law," AFP quoted Israeli Supreme Court as saying on Thursday.
In 1986, the nuclear technician was sentenced to 18 years in prison for exposing details about Israel’s nuclear program and military activities. He leaked the data to Britain’s The Sunday Times, while working at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev desert of southern Israel, providing convincing evidence that Tel Aviv possessed a nuclear arsenal.
He was released from prison on probation in 2004 after serving the full extent of his sentence, but has been arrested several times for allegedly violating the terms of his release.
Construction work began on Dimona in 1958, and Israel is believed to have manufactured scores of nuclear warheads since the 1960s. Former US President Jimmy Carter has said that Israel possesses between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads.
However, Tel Aviv has maintained a policy of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ in which it neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons.
In May 2010, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz quoted Vanunu as saying, "Everyone knows that Israel has nuclear weapons… but no one is talking about it."
Tel Aviv has neither signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) nor allowed international surveillance of the Dimona plant.