Jericho missile, what is Israel’s nuclear weapon

As tension between Israel and Palestine increases, after the escalation caused by the Hamas attack, more and more extreme positions emerge within Tel Aviv politics, so much so that, as reported by Newsweek, Tally Gotliv, a lawyer and member of the Knesset for the Likud, he spoke about the possible use of the Jericho nuclear missile system instead of conducting a ground invasion by deploying the army.

The Jericho missile

Despite the claims, it is not possible to wage a war with nuclear weapons in such restricted scenarios, but Gotliv’s words have rekindled attention on this missile system, developed since the 1960s, whose name refers to the destruction of the city of Jericho.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Newsweek reports, the Jericho-1 model, which has been retired since the 1990s, weighed 6.5 tons, had a length of 13.4 meters and a diameter of 0. 8 meters. With a range of 500 kilometers it could carry a payload of 1,000 kilograms. However, it had a 50% chance of landing within a 1,000 meter radius of a target.

The Jericho-2 missile

A long-range missile called the Jericho-2 was developed from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. It had a length of 15 meters and a diameter of 1.35 metres, despite its larger dimensions it had an identical payload to the first. This missile can travel between 1,500 and 3,500 kilometers.


A new intermediate-range missile system, called Jericho-3, was developed decades later. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), based in Washington, the ballistic missile was tested in 2008 and introduced into service in 2011, Newsweek explains. Developed and owned by Israel, the missile’s specifications have been improved over the previous two models, boasting around a meter longer than the Jericho-2 and a diameter of 1.56 metres. The single warhead weighing around 750 kilograms reportedly has a range of between 4,800 and 6,500 kilometres. The payload extends to around 1,300 kilograms. Numerous analyst reports state that the Jericho-3, also referred to as the YA-4, was first tested in January 2008 by the Palmachim flight test center near Tel Aviv, followed by an additional test in February 2008.