FAS - Federation of American ScientistsThere is little doubt that some time in the late sixties Israel became the sixth nation to manufacture nuclear weapons. The Samson Option states that Moshe Dayan gave the go-ahead for starting weapon production in early 1968, putting the plutonium separation plant into full operation. Israel began producing three to five bombs a year. The book Critical Mass asserts that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel's first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War. Avner Cohen in his recent book, Israel and the Bomb, agrees that Israel had a deliverable nuclear capability in the 1967 war. He quotes Munya Mardor, leader of Rafael, the Armament Development Authority, and other unnamed sources, that Israel “cobbled together” two deliverable devices.
Under the NPT guidelines, this would make Israel a pre-existing nuclear power with the same perks enjoyed by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China. Israel has never proliferated in either nuclear technology or nuclear materials.
With the nascent rise of post-NPT nuclear states (North Korea, Pakistan, India, Iran), the NPT is losing all credibility as more nations (Syria/Egypt/KSA) explore the nuclear option.