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DATE=2/2/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=ISRAEL / NUKES (S ONLY)(CQ) NUMBER=2-258747 BYLINE=MEREDITH BUEL DATELINE=JERUSALEM CONTENT= VOICE AT: INTRO: The Israeli Parliament, for the first time in the nation's history, has debated the country's nuclear weapons program. V-O-A Correspondent Meredith Buel reports from Jerusalem. TEXT: The Israeli Parliament, in an unprecedented debate, discussed Israel's nuclear weapons capabilities during a stormy session that escalated into a shouting match between Jewish and Arab legislators. Arab lawmaker Issam Mahoul, who appealed to the Supreme Court to force the debate, said Israel has hundreds of nuclear warheads. Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon said he could not respond to the allegations because, in his words, "to do so would aid the enemy." The public discussion of one of Israel's most carefully guarded secrets sparked a walkout from parliament by some members of the governing coalition as well as opposition lawmakers. Israel has never publicly acknowledged it maintains a nuclear arsenal but foreign analysts say it has used its reactor at Dimona in the Negev desert to produce nuclear warheads. (Signed) NEB/MB/JWH/KL 02-Feb-2000 12:15 PM EDT (02-Feb-2000 1715 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .