UN nuclear watchdog IAEA recognizes ‘State of Palestine’

“Israel does not recognize the PA’s attempts to join such organizations and such institutions in which only states are members,” said Israel’s Foreign Ministry in response.

By World Israel News Staff 

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, took an additional step Tuesday in recognizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a state, according to the PA news agency WAFA. 

“Palestine and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed today a safeguards agreement at its Vienna headquarters,” said the news agency on Tuesday.

“The signing of this agreement follows the accession of the State of Palestine as a State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the beginning of 2015,” WAFA added.

A permanent Palestinian “observer to the United Nations and the international organizations in Vienna, Salah Abdul Shafi, signed the agreement on behalf of the State of Palestine along with IAEA director-general, Yukiya Amano,”  WAFA reports.

“Abdul Shafi said that the signing of this agreement is further proof that the State of Palestine shoulders its international responsibilities as an active member of the international community,” said the PA news agency.

Israelis condemn move

“This is another attempt by the Palestinian Authority to join international organizations with the aim of exploiting them for political purposes,” said Israel’s Foreign Ministry in response.

“Israel does not recognize the PA’s attempts to join such organizations and such institutions in which only states are members. Israel views this as a violation of international agreements,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The Palestinian Authority is not a state, but a self-ruling body in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. It was established in stages during the 1990s as part of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The accords called for the future establishment of a Palestinian state but it never happened amid rampant Palestinian terror against Israel.

In 2005, the Hamas terror group overthrew the PA in the Gaza Strip and the Authority leadership has not been able to fully reestablish its control of Gaza since then.