The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Tuesday demanding that Israel “renounce possession of nuclear weapons” and open its arms to global regulation.
The measure, which is non-binding, was approved 161 to 5, with the United States, Canada, Palau, Micronesia, and Israel voting “no” and 18 countries abstaining.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that refuses to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, with India, Pakistan, and North Korea also declining.
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While Israel does not publicly acknowledge its nuclear arsenal, its existence is widely known. A report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute this summer found that Israel unlawfully owns 80 nuclear warheads, making it the only Middle Eastern nuclear power.
Introduced by Egypt, the resolution calls for Israel to “accede to [the non-proliferation treaty] without further delay, not to develop, produce test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons.” It also urges the state to subject itself to regulation by the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN.
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