JERUSALEM -- Israel has cheered the Syrians' promise to hand over their chemical weapons and sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, but it is increasingly worried that the international pressure building may soon focus on Israel, which has refused to ratify the treaty and is believed to possess chemical weapons.
Israel signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, but it never ratified the agreement.
Israeli officials insist that their government is willing to ratify the treaty, but only after others in the region follow suit. Syria and Egypt notably have refused to sign the accord outlawing the use of chemical weapons.
Israel’s regional enemies have insisted they need chemical weapons to counter the threat of the nuclear weapons Israel is believed to possess. No other Middle East nation is thought to have such an arsenal.
In recent days, some Russian diplomats have linked Israel's military capabilities with Syria's, hinting that Israel should be required to ratify the treaty if Syria agrees to.