UN nuclear watchdog rejects Egyptian proposal to monitor Israeli sites


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Assembly rejected a proposal to require the monitoring of Israel’s nuclear sites.

Titled “Israeli nuclear capabilities,” the resolution was defeated Thursday in Vienna by a vote of 61-43. Egypt submitted the proposal to the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog; among those in support were Syria, Iran, Libya and Iraq. It was not the first time that Egypt has proposed the nonbinding resolution.

In addition to calling for Israel to allow IAEA inspectors to visit its nuclear facilities, including the nuclear reactor in Dimona in southern Israel, the proposal called for an international conference on making the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone.

Israel sent diplomats to several countries to convince them to vote against the resolution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement called the vote a “great victory for Israel in the international arena.”

“I have spoken directly with over 30 presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers,” Netanyahu said. “I explained that there was no place to hold a discussion of this kind as long as the main problem in the Middle East is Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons and its clear declarations regarding its intention to destroy the State of Israel.”

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it has nuclear weapons.

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