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|Thursday, June 28, 2001, updated at 08:38(GMT+8)|
Israel Urged to Submit Nuclear Facilities to International InspectionsA senior Palestinian diplomat called Wednesday on Israel to submit its nuclear facilities to international inspections, Egypt's state-run Middle East News Agency reported.
Mohamed Subeih, Palestinian permanent delegate to the Cairo- based Arab League, made the appeal in a speech to a meeting of the league's committee on following up Israeli nuclear activities violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
"Israel's nuclear waste is being buried in a small area, posing a serious threat to the safety and security of the region, especially after an Israeli science committee predicted that a powerful earthquake could hit Israel," said Subeih.
"We have to imagine the consequences of a long-duration earthquake that may hit the Negev Desert (in Israel), where the reactor stands and the nuclear wastes are buried," Subeih said, adding that the possible quake could cause 50 billion U.S. dollars of losses.
"That's why we want to subject the Israeli nuclear facilities to international inspection," namely the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, Subeih said.
He also warned of the consequences of Israel's participation in the U.S. missile defense system. "Israel would benefit from the new system, which could cause a serious imbalance in the region. That will be more dangerous," he said.
Subeih said that Israel's strategic cooperation with some states, especially that under the U.S.-proposed missile defense shield, could bring about more risks, including a new nuclear arms race.
"We want the Mideast region to be free from weapons of mass destruction, especially the nuclear weapons," Subeih added.
Israel is believed to have a significant stockpile of nuclear warheads. But the Jewish state neither admits nor denies having nuclear weapons. It also refuses to sign the NPT and rejects international inspections of its nuclear facilities.
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