An annotated map of Egypt and Israel shows the placement of the existing Suez Canal and an approximation of plans for a canal through Israel discussed by the US in the 1960s.
- A declassified memorandum reveals a 1963 US plan to create an alternative to the Suez Canal.
- It would have excavated more than 160 miles through Israel's Negev desert with nuclear bombs.
- A cargo ship is currently stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking the vital shipping route.
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The US had plans to use 520 nuclear bombs to carve out an alternative to the Suez Canal though Israel in the 1960s, according to a declassified memorandum.
The plan never came into a fruition, but having an alternative waterway to the Suez Canal could have been useful today, with a cargo ship stuck in the narrow path and blocking one of the world's most vital shipping routes.
According to the 1963 memorandum, which was declassified in 1996, the plan would have relied on 520 nuclear bombs to carve out the waterway. The memo called for the "use of nuclear explosives for excavation of Dead Sea canal across the Negev desert."
The historian Alex Wellerstein tweeted that the plan would have been a "model proposal for the Suez Canal situation."