Secret Israeli Military Base uncovered near Occupied Jerusalem
The U.S. satellite imagery company, Planet Labs, captured the Israeli security facility southwest of Jerusalem as part of the images taken from the expansion and development of the Dimona nuclear reactor and published by Associated Press last Thursday.
According to today's "Haaretz" newspaper, the pictures taken by the American company were of high quality.
It claimed that the photographed area is located west of Beit Shemesh and that it appears as an open area on Israeli maps and as a closed area on civil aviation maps.
However, the newspaper confirmed that an Israeli Air Force base known as "Kanaf 2" is located in the region, and the "Global Security" website reported that this base contains three squadrons of surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
According to the newspaper, it's unclear who caused pictures to be taken or whether the intention was to support another publication about suspected Israeli military activities.
The newspaper noted that "against the backdrop of tensions between US administrations and Israel linked to weapons and nuclear supervision," the exposure of Israeli nuclear and ballistic activities had previously been reported in foreign media.
The photos of the Dimona project were released at a time when President Joe Biden is attempting to restart the nuclear deal with Iran, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opposition.
The Associated Press analyzed pictures that demonstrate a hole the length of a football field, and that depth most likely refers to a multi-story building now situated meters away from the old reactor at the Shimon Peres Nuclear Research Center in the Negev desert near Dimona.
The site also has underground facilities that reprocess spent reactor rods to produce high-grade plutonium for Israel's nuclear weapons program.
Due to the fact that these acts have been made public, the purpose of the construction is unclear. The Israeli government did not respond to the Associated Press's extensive questions about the initiative.
Neither it confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons because of Israel's nuclear blackout strategy. It is one of only four countries that has never ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, a landmark international treaty aimed at preventing nuclear weapons proliferation.
After Congress passed a restriction on granting a license to shoot high-quality Israeli security facilities in 1997, former US President Donald Trump signed an executive order authorizing American companies to take high-quality satellite photos of Israel, this legislation was passed at Israel's request, and it only applies to Israel.