Dimona struck--but thankfully not its nuclear plant

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Thankfully, when the enemy finally hit Dimona, it wasn't quite on the scale that many have foreseen one day striking the relatively isolated and quiet Negev town.

Expressing the shock felt by residents after Monday's suicide bombing, in which one woman was killed and dozens were wounded in the first terror attack of any kind on the town, Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen told Channel 1, "People here aren't used to this kind of thing, but it's part of the new reality that all of us in the Negev now have to deal with."...

The greatest threat against the Negev city, according to a book published last year titled Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six Day War, came in 1967. According to this thoroughly researched though highly speculative account, the very origins of the Six Day War derive from Soviet concerns over Israel's development of its nuclear weapons-production capability at the Dimona reactor. Thus, after spurring Egypt and Syria to provoke Israel into what the Kremlim believed would be a more extended military conflict, Moscow planned to launch a strike to wipe out Dimona on the grounds that it was preempting possible Israeli nuclear action against its Arab allies.

Although the book's sensational thesis has been the subject of considerable debate and has been rejected by some experts on the 1967 war, The Jerusalem Post subsequently confirmed from an official Russian military source one of the book's major revelations: that Soviet pilots did in fact conduct high-altitude surveillance sorties over Dimona in advanced MiG-25 "Foxbat" aircraft just prior to the Six Day War.

Whether the residents of Dimona have actually been in any real danger over the years from this kind of major aerial assault is a matter of speculation. That it remains in the crosshairs of Israel's most serious and determined enemies is not; more than once, Iranian officials have been quoted in the press citing Dimona as a potential target of the Islamic Republic's Shihab missiles, especially in response to any Israeli action against its own nuclear facilities.

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