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Israel angered by nuclear watchdog's recognition of Palestine

ISRAEL has been left “infuriated” after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allowed Palestine to join the body as an observer, claiming that the move breaks international agreements.

An agreement was signed by IAEA director general Yukiya Amano and Palestinian ambassador to Vienna Salah Abdul Shafi on Tuesday. It will allow inspectors to carry out checks on radioactive materials and fissile nuclear materials, including uranium, that are kept in Palestine.

Most of the material is believed to be in medical equipment in physics departments, universities and hospitals.

The move drew the ire of Israeli authorities who warned that it was a “violation of international conventions.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “This is another attempt by the Palestinian Authority to join international organisations in order to exploit them for political purposes

“Israel does not recognise the attempts of the Palestinian Authority to join such organisations and such institutions as a state, and Israel views this as a violation of international agreements.”

Tel Aviv refuses to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which has been agreed by most governments across the world. The treaty attempts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and reduce the number of arms in a decommissioning process.

Israel’s nuclear programme has remained highly secretive but a new Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report suggests that it has around 100 nuclear warheads.

Former Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in prison after he revealed details of Tel Aviv’s nuclear programme in 1986.

He was lured to Italy where he was drugged and abducted by Israeli intelligence services before being tried behind closed doors.

An IAEA spokesperson said that the agreement “does not in any way imply an expression of a position regarding the legal status of any state or territory or its powers or demarcation of its borders.”

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