Israeli planes able to carry chemical, biological weapons

LONDON (AP) — Israeli F-16 fighters have been equipped to carry chemical and biological weapons manufactured at a secret biological institute in a Tel Aviv suburb, a British newspaper reported.
The Sunday Times also said the institute, in the suburb of Nes Ziona, supplied poison for an attempt last year to kill Khaled Meshal, a leader of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas.
Israeli agents sprayed the poison into Meshal’s ear, but Israel supplied an antidote after Jordan threatened to put the agents on trial, the report said.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office acknowledged that an El Al cargo plane that crashed in an Amsterdam residential area in 1992 was carrying a chemical that can be used to make the nerve gas sarin.
About 50 gallons of dimethyl methylphosphonate, a key component of sarin, was destined for the institute, and was replaced, the Israeli government confirmed. It said, however, the chemical has various industrial uses and the shipment was approved by Washington.
The Sunday Times said Israeli air force crews are now trained to fit active chemical or biological weapons to F-16s within minutes of receiving a command to attack.
The institute was founded in 1952 as a single building hidden in an orange grove and now sprawls over several acres surrounded by a 6-foot wall equipped with sensors, the newspaper said.