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International Atomic Energy Agency recognizes Palestine as state

Christian Fernsby |
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed an agreement to recognize Palestine as a state as it joined the international body as a observer.

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While it is not a member, the Palestinian Authority as an observer can attend meetings, an IAEA spokesperson said.

The agreement, which was signed by Director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano and the Palestinian Ambassador in Vienna Salah Abdul Shafi, gives the IAEA inspectors the ability to check the safety of radioactive materials and fissile nuclear materials, such as uranium.

While the Palestine has no nuclear reactors, it does have physics departments in hospitals and universities, which have medical equipment containing components of nuclear materials.

This act is seen by Israel as a push by the Palestine for international recognition, similar to when the Palestine joined UNESCO in 2011.

The agreement puts Israel, the IAEA, and the Palestine in a challenging situation, as it is not yet clear how the IAEA will define the territory and borders of a Palestinian State.

Furthermore, Israel has never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, an international treaty with most of the world that has the goal of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. While Israel does not claim it has nuclear weapons, it does not deny it possess any either. Thus, Israel only allows the IAEA to visit designated areas with supervision.

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