Israeli army demolish more buildings in Palestinian village

It’s a move many interpret as an act of vengeance. The Israeli army has carried out demolition orders in the West Bank– including the city of Jerusalem al-Quds. Many Human rights groups believe that Israel is trying to divide the West Bank in order to further isolate Palestinians.
The Israeli army demolished 3 buildings in the West Bank, which included a famers outhouse in the village of Akrabe in Nablus, a mosque in the south Hebron hills and a house in Jerusalem al-Quds.

Furthermore settlers attacked a small house in the village of Libon outside of Ramallah, although little damage was caused.

Human rights groups have stated that there is a pattern in the demolitions which take place in the West Bank, particularly after a diplomatic victory.

Human rights groups are further concerned that, due to the surge of new Israeli settlements being constructed in the West Bank, this is dividing the West bank and further isolating Palestinians from Jerusalem.

Khalil Shaheen further explained how the West Bank will be divided.

The destruction of the famers house in Akrabe is an example of how the Israeli Authorities are preventing economic growth in the West Bank as thousands of famers houses and property are under demolition orders and many farmers now need special permission to enter their land.

There has been a recent surge of housing demolitions at the hands of the Israeli army which includes this farm outhouse here in Akrabe.

Human rights groups are becoming increasingly more concerned that Israel is taking punitive measures against the Palestinians particularly after their victory at the UN.

(www.presstv.ir / 05.12.2012)

Is Hamas Using Chinese Rockets? Not Exactly, Say Experts

PHOTO: In a picture taken on November 25, 2012, Palestinian militants from the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad organization display rockets at an undisclosed location in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

In a picture taken on November 25, 2012, Palestinian militants from the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad organization display rockets at an undisclosed location in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Hamas fired Chinese medium range rockets at cities in Southern Israel during the last round of hostilities this November.

“Given the areas that were targeted it is highly likely that Chinese-designed WS-1E rockets were used by Hamas,” said Ben Goodlad, a senior analyst with Jane’s Defence in the U.K.

The rockets were more likely based on Chinese blueprints, however, than produced by the Chinese. While recent media reports have suggested that the rockets were manufactured by the Chinese, analysts say there is no evidence they were supplied directly or indirectly to Hamas by China, despite the large Chinese footprint in Sudan, where the rockets may have originated. And of more significance, say experts, is the improved range of rockets manufactured inside Gaza itself.

With a range of 40 kilometers, the Chinese WS-1E rockets were used to target the major cities of Ashdod and Beersheba in the south of Israel and are comparable to the Iranian-made Fajr3 rockets.

“It is probable the Chinese-designed rockets were transported via Sudan, through the Sinai desert into Gaza,” said Goodlad. He said it was possible the rockets were built from Chinese blueprints by Iran in Sudan or elsewhere.

In late October an arms factory believed to belong to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was bombed in Sudan. An operation widely believed to have been carried out by Israel as part of their efforts to stem the flow of weapons to militant organizations linked to Iran such as Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

This is not the first time Hamas has used these Chinese-designed rockets. After the 2009 Gaza war reports emerged that Hamas had used similar rockets.

Israel has long attempted to cut-off rocket supply to the Gaza strip, which it has blockaded since 2007, but Hamas and other militant factions inside the Palestinian strip have established a complex network of smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian Sinai desert.

But experts on Hamas say the most significant development to have emerged from the latest round of hostilities is the use, for the first time, of rockets produced in Gaza that reached the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

“At least one of the rockets that targeted Jerusalem [in November] was domestically produced in Gaza,” said Matthew Levitt, senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The rocket landed in an Arab town close to the Israeli settlement of Gush Etzion on the West Bank south of Jerusalem and did not pose a real threat to the city. “It had a very small payload and resembles more a very large firecracker,” said Levitt.

Despite the small payload, however, the homemade rocket traveled 50 kilometers – farther than the Chinese designed weapons – an indication of the work Hamas has been doing to develop its own rocket capabilities.

(abcnews.go.com / 05.12.2012)

Did Israel fire chemical weapons on Gaza last month?

55555-doghmosh.jpg
 

Hassan Doghmosh suffers severe burns after his Gaza City neighborhood was bombed last month.

Severe burns cover the face and neck of Hassan Doghmosh. Israel’s latestattack on Gaza may have ended but Doghmosh is still suffering its effects.

Doghmosh, 40, was injured when his home in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City was bombed during Israel’s eight-day offensive. With Gaza’s medical facilities overstretched, he was initially treated in Egypt. He is now in the intensive care unit of al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital.

“There is shrapnel all over his body,” Mohammad Khail, a staff nurse in the hospital, said. “One piece of shrapnel cut an artery in his neck, causing a lot of bleeding. Also, the upper part of his left eye was hurt, causing his eyes to close completely. And he has bad wounds to his chest and abdomen.”

Six-year-old Mohammad Abu Zour lies on another bed in the intensive care unit. According to medical staff, the little boy suffered a fractured skull. His family’s home in the al-Zaytoun area of Gaza City was hit by Israeli shells three days before a ceasefire was announced.

Meanwhile, Khail explained how another patient, five-year-old Nesma Qalaja, suffered a wound to her heart that has prevented her blood from flowing normally. She and Mohammad are among the 450 children to have been injured during the eight days of attacks. More than 30 other children were killed.

According to the Gaza health ministry, Operation Pillar of Cloud — as Israel called its offensive — killed 183 persons. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated in a situation report today that 103 Palestinian civilians were killed. Almost 1,400 Palestinians were injured, including 155 elderly persons and 220 women, the health ministry says.

Abnormal symptoms

Nema al-Swairki from al-Mughraqa, a town in the central Gaza Strip, was one of those women. “I was close to a water well, when a bombing occurred.” she said. “I rushed to my daughter to try to protect her, then I had fainted. When I woke up, I found myself at the hospital.”

Al-Swairki, who is in her thirties, was hit in the back. She has a deep and large wound near her kidney.

Among those receiving treatment in Nasser hospital in Khan Younis is a man who was hit by an Israeli drone that struck a farm owned by his family in southern Gaza. A friend of his was killed in the attack. “I was hit directly in my abdomen and two legs,” said the man, who is in his thirties and asked not to be named.

Baker al-Derdy, the head nurse in Nasser hospital, said that when this man was first admitted, there was “a strange smell, almost chemical” from him. Al-Derdy pointed to other indications that Israel may have used chemical weapons during its offensive.

“Some of the symptoms we have seen are abnormal,” al-Derdy added. “The type of burns that appear on the bodies suggest that the weapons employed were not conventional. The burns go deep into the skin and the skin itself turns blue. And I can tell you that the burns hit even the third layer of the skin.”

Israel is known to have used white phosphorous — a highly combustible substance — during Operation Cast Lead, its three week attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009. In January 2009, Amnesty International investigators reported finding white phosphorous wedges on residential buildings in Gaza City. Once it comes in contact with human skin, white phosphorous can burn deeply into the muscle and bone (“Israel used white phosphorous in Gaza civilian areas,” 19 January 2009).

Burnt-out bodies

Ashraf al-Qedra, a spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, said that it was not possible to confirm that chemical weapons were used by Israel last month. But al-Qedra also acknowledged that some of the burns witnessed were deeper than those associated with conventional weapons.

“We in Gaza and health bodies in the West Bank do not have laboratories where we could properly examine what types of weapons have been used in Israeli attacks,” al-Qedra said. “But according to what we have seen so far, it appears that Israel used some explosive weapons or ammunition that caused burns and deep wounds. In most cases of those killed, we have seen that bodies were either torn apart or completely burnt out. Also, many of those injured have had their lower or upper limbs amputated.”

Approximately 50 of those injured in the latest attack remain in a critical condition. Staff at al-Shifa say they do not have all the equipment needed to treat the injured. As a result, some of them have been transferred to Egyptian hospitals for follow-up care.

Both local and international human rights groups are continuing to gather information on the types of injuries inflicted. Samir Zaqout, chief researcher for the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, said: “We cannot either deny or confirm Israel’s use of illicit or unconventional weapons or ammunition against the people of Gaza during the last Israeli attack.

“However, during Operation Cast Lead, international experts came to the territory and investigated. According to these experts, remnants of Israeli weapons, like tank shells and missile shrapnel, contained some very dangerous and poisonous substances. The experts advised us to bury or keep those remnants away from populated areas. These substances cause severe health complications in the long term.”

(www.uruknet.info / 05.12.2012)

CJPME applauds Quebec’s motion on the status of Palestine

For Immediate Release

Montreal, December 5, 2012  – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) hails the motion to recognize Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to establish a state, adopted without opposition yesterday by Quebec’s National Assembly. Presented jointly by Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-François Lizée (Parti Quebecois) and MNA Amir Khadir (Quebec Solidaire), the National Assembly motion is significant, the result of fruitful negotiations between the political parties that generated a unanimous decision on the question.
Such a unanimous stance has not been seen for 25 years in the National Assembly. The Assembly opted to send a clear message to Ottawa, urging it “to take note of the United Nations’ decision recognizing Palestine’s status as an observer state, and to continue the much-needed Canadian aid for the construction of a state of law in the Palestinian territories.” The motion also reaffirmed “Quebec’s unwavering support for a negotiated solution that meets Israel’s need to live in peace within secure and recognized borders and also recognises Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to establish a state.”
“The National Assembly’s motion clearly confirms the ever-growing support for the Palestinians’ fundamental right to live as full citizens in their own state, as do Israelis,” explains CJPME President Thomas Woodley. “It also demonstrates the desire of Quebec’s elected representatives, as an assembly, for Canada to provide generous aid to the Palestinians,” he adds. CJPME notes that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians depend on foreign aid-especially that of the UN agency UNWRA-to survive. The Harper government should confirm that it intends to at least maintain the current level of aid provided to the Palestinians.
CJPME has denounced Canada’s vote opposing UN recognition of Palestine. CJPME also criticizes the near-silence of the Harper government on the hostile and unilateral measures taken by Israel following the UN decision. CJPME encourages the opposition parties to critically assess the Harper government’s counterproductive stances. All of the parties should be more attentive to the need to denounce Israel’s violations of international law, especially its illegal confiscation of land in the occupied Palestinian territories with the intention of expanding its colonies.
(campaign.r20.constantcontact.com / 05.12.2012)

INFOGRAPHIC | The demographic success of Israel’s settlement project

The numbers suggest that President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid to the United Nations General Assembly was too little, too late.

The United Nations General Assembly recognised  as a “nonmember state”. But it may very well be that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already missed the boat. With the help of graphic designer, Michal Vexler, we have created an  to illustrate and explain how demographic changes within the West Bank obstruct the possibility of the two-state solution. The numbers suggest that Abbas’ bid to the United Nations was too little, too late.

The demographic success of Israels settlement project 

Neve Gordon is the author of ’s Occupation.

Yinon Cohen is Yerushalmi Professor of Israel and  Studies, Department of Sociology, Columbia University, New York.

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com /05.12.2012)

Settlers Cut, Uproot, 200 Olive Trees Near Bethlehem

Palestinian sources reported that a group of extremist settlers cut and uprooted approximately 200 olive trees in Palestinian orchards west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

File - Orchards Uprooted By Settlers
File – Orchards Uprooted By Settlers

The sources said that several armed settlers invaded Palestinian orchards in Al-Jab’a village, west of Bethlehem, and cut the trees in addition to plowing the land.

This attack is one of numerous similar attacks carried out by the settlers in the area as the settlers claim the orchard is theirs.

In related news, Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth reported that the Israeli justice system will start legal measures against extremist settlers who carry out “Price Tag’ attacks against the Palestinians, their homes, lands and property in different parts of the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli police apprehended three settlers suspected of torching Palestinian cars in Ath-Thaheriyya town, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron.

Extremist settlers groups in the occupied West Bank are responsible for hundreds of attacks against the Palestinians and their property, and including burning and cutting hundreds of Palestinian trees in Palestinian orchards and farmlands in different parts of the West Bank.

The attacks also targeted several mosques and churches in different parts of occupied Palestine; these attacks included defacing the holy sites by writing racist graffiti, burning and attempting to burn holy sites by setting them ablaze and by hurling Molotov cocktails at them.

(www.imemc.org / 05.12.2012)

3 advisers to Egypt’s Mursi quit over crisis

CAIRO (Reuters) — Three members of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi’s advisory team have resigned over the crisis ignited by a decree that expanded his powers, presidential sources said on Wednesday.

Seif Abdel Fattah, Ayman al-Sayyad and Amr al-Leithy all tendered their resignations, bringing to six the number of presidential staff who have quit in the row over the decree.

(www.maannews.net / 05.12.2012)

The fine print of Palestinian statehood

What does the UN fine print – which promoted as a non-member observer state – really mean?

The fine print of Palestinian statehood

The PLO/PA’s apparent interest in reviving itself provides opportunities for Palestinian civil society and its allies to hold the leadership accountable for Palestinian rights

Congratulations are raining as friends of the Palestinians respond with delight to the United Nations’ resounding “Yes!” to Palestine’s non-member observer state status as of November 29, 2012. But before giving free rein to their excitement, the Palestinian people – and their allies – should read the actual text of the resolution.

Many Palestinians did not read the   and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) signed in the 1990s. If they had, they might have noticed that the Accords did not mention international law and human rights, did not provide for a state and did not even mention the “”. Plus, theaccords tied the Palestinian economy into knots that Israel could tighten or loosen at will.

The same leadership that signed those accords now believes the UN upgrade will put the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, freedom, equality and justice back on track.

Perhaps. There may be some openings yet the reasons for apprehension are legion, as is shown by a reading of the text.

The resolution itself is a messy text (based on the penultimate copy of thedocument circulated the day before submission) stuffed with references to past UN resolutions, statements and peace processes. But that is not so worrying in and of itself.

Arab peace initiative

What is truly alarming is that, despite repeated assertions by the Palestinian leadership that they are determined to protect the rights of Palestinian refugees, the brief reference to the cornerstone  194 (III) is buried in the preambular paragraphs. In the operative paragraphs, “the Palestine refugees” are just one of the core issues that must be resolved, along with , settlements, border, security and water.

Resolved, how? The resolution enshrines the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which speaks of a “just and agreed upon” solution for the Palestinian refugees, in operative paragraph 5. This effectively reaffirms Israel’s control of any solution, an Israel that has never allowed the refugees to return and that continues to this day to dispossess the Palestinians in pre-1967 Israel and the occupied territory. Thus, the UN resolution gives ever-more formal sanction to disposing of the majority of the Palestinian people.

Another worrying factor is the repeated references to a  so discredited that it is long past time to bury and not to praise it.

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the operative paragraphs make no direct reference to the Oslo Accords. Rather, they refer to the “relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap”.

Is this a positive sign? Perhaps.

Another potentially positive sign is the affirmation, in operative paragraph 2, that the new status would be “without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role” of the PLO at the UN. Many Palestinians feared that the UN bid would come at the expense of PLO representation of the entire Palestinian people, under occupation, refugees and in Israel.

Yet in practice can Palestinians be represented by both a state and the PLO? Despite the careful wording of the resolution, a Palestinian negotiator said in private exchanges that “state representation (entity)… overrides the PLO representation” and that an ambassador would be representing the state of Palestine. The negotiator also said the PLO is “the interim government representing the state and not the entity represented that is Palestine”.

Clear? Not so much. It seems that the ambassador of Palestine would represent those Palestinians in the state of Palestine, that is, not all Palestinians, with the PLO’s position unclear.

The Palestinians’ political reality is even more worrying than the resolution’s language. Not only did this same leadership sign the disastrous Oslo Accords, it stood helplessly by as Israel more than doubled its illegal settlers since 1993 with no signs of stopping its rampant colonisation.

 from occupation

In addition, the Fatah- 2007 split has greatly weakened the Palestinian national movement. Even if they reconcile, as they seem determined to do in the wake of Israel’s assault on  this month, this is not necessarily cause for celebration. There is nothing democratic about either faction. Although Hamas does hold internal , both have brutally oppressed dissent rather than encouraging true Palestinian representation.

In the final analysis, it boils down to a question of trust. True, the PLO did not bend to British demands that, among other things, it did not agree to join the for a “Yes” vote (Britain abstained.) But it has squandered the huge resources at its disposal to lead civil resistance to the Israeli trampling of Palestinian rights. It did not make use of the  Advisory Opinion to hold other states accountable for their support of Israel’s occupation.

It tried to torpedo the  after . It adopted a weak, limited boycott of Israeli settlement goods only after the rest of the world responded powerfully to the Palestinian civil society 2005 Call for boycott, and sanctions (); and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) took on the role of Israel’s policeman.

Can such a leadership really lead the Palestinians to freedom from occupation, justice for the refugees and equal rights for the Palestinian citizens of Israel? Can it take advantage of the ICC and , and other UN conventions and bodies to protect its waters, airspace and people? The jury is out.

The biggest ray of sunshine on the horizon is the virulent opposition to the UN bid by the Israeli and American governments. In fact, they have been boxed in. If Israel cuts aid to the PA, it will have to manage its own occupation. If the US cuts aid to the PA, it will lose its clout over the Palestinian agenda.

Furthermore, the PLO/PA’s apparent interest in reviving itself provides opportunities for Palestinian civil society and its allies to hold the leadership accountable for Palestinian rights. But first, it would be good to read that document, to know just what to hold it accountable for.

(Nadia Hijab / sabbah.biz / 05.12.2012)

Several mainstream publications say the two-state solution is dead

Israel’s latest landgrab in the West Bank has caused several more mainstream media outlets to offer eulogies to the two-state solution– and note that Israel has isolated the United States diplomatically. Here are a few of them:

Karl Vick, at Time Magazine, describes the new Israeli settlement as a “game ender” for the two-state solution and says it will only isolate Israel further:

“The impact,” says [Israeli attorney Daniel] Seidemann, whom foreign embassies routinely consult as an expert on settlements and the boundaries of the contentious city, “is basically the creation of facts on the ground that would make the two-state solution dead. It’s not only a game changer, it’s a game ender.”

The reaction to Netanyahu’s bold move, both in Israel and abroad, was swift and negative. Britain and France summoned Israel’s ambassadors to hear protests, and reportedly were considering ordering their own envoys home, a move without precedent.

LA Times has this statement:

As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, it would deal “an almost fatal blow” to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it would make it extremely difficult to configure a reasonably contiguous Palestinian state. (The Obama administration described the Israeli announcement as “counterproductive,” and a State Departmentspokesman said that construction in E-1 “would be damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”)

Ian Black at the Guardian also says the two-state solution is finished, and calls on the EU to take charge.

[A]uthorising illegal settlements in the area known as E1 is plainly provocative. It is, as the UN’s Ban ki-Moon put it, a near-fatal blow to the fading hopes for a two-state solution. Britain’s foreign secretary, Wiliam Hague, made the same point starkly…

Swift and concerted diplomatic protests across Europe were certainly headline-grabbing. But what counts is whether they will be followed by more united and robust action. Even more important, what will be the response of the US, the only member of the security council to vote no to Palestine last week?

At Al Jazeera, Neve Gordon and Yinon Cohen post graphs demonstrating that the West Bank settlers have been demographically successful– that is to say, they will never leave:

[D]emographic changes within the West Bank obstruct the possibility of the two-state solution. The numbers suggest that Abbas’ bid to the United Nations was too little, too late.

The two scholars point out that immigration to the West Bank collapsed after the Second Intifada, but the settlers have more than made up for that by having lots of kids. Twenty years ago, there were 9,000 new settlers and 2600 births in a year. Today, the numbers are reversed: 3600 new settlers, but nearly 11,000 births.

And here’s a brilliant piece by Henry Siegman at Foreign Policy asking who doomed the two-state solution, Obama or Netanyahu? And answering: Obama.

This continuity of U.S. Middle East peace policy was promptly reinforced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she assured Israel [Friday] that despite her condemnation of its decision to proceed with new construction in the E1 corridor of the West Bank that will doom the two-state solution, this administration will continue to “have Israel’s back.”

The decision confirms America’s irrelevance not only to a possible resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict but to the emerging political architecture of the entire region, the shape and direction of which will increasingly be determined by popular Arab opinion, not autocratic regimes dependent on the United States for their survival.

The efforts promised by President Obama to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will be seen universally for the empty and purposeless exercise they will be. To be taken seriously, a new U.S. peace initiative would have to begin with an insistence that Israel’s government accept the pre-1967 border as the starting point of resumed negotiations. Without such a U.S. demand, backed by effective diplomatic pressure, the United States will have no right to ask Palestinians to return to negotiations that have no terms of reference, and therefore no prospect of producing anything other than cover for Israel’s continuing predatory colonial behavior in the West Bank….

A U.S. administration that since the third year of its first term has been pandering to the Israel lobby by withdrawing its insistence that Israel’s illegal settlements project must end, followed by a muting of its demand that resumed negotiations be framed by reasonable terms of reference, should exercise considerably greater restraint before presuming to preach to others on the subject of political courage.

Netanyahu’s decision to proceed with massive new construction in the Jerusalem area and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories is not what doomed the two-state solution. It was always clear this is what he intended doing. What doomed the two-state solution was Obama’s decision to give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the veto over Palestinian statehood.

Robert Wright in The Atlantic, seeking to resuscitate the two-state solution for the sake of the U.S., advises Obama to take Israel on: to inform Netanyahu that he’s planning to deliver a speech that calls the Israelis out over their latest plans and says that the U.S. will no longer support Israel at the U.N. Netanyahu will then cave, Wright predicts.

But he adds a big disclaimer:

I’m not saying Obama will take this approach; obviously, it would be out of character for him to be so bold. I’m just saying that if he did take this approach it would work. I’m also saying that if he doesn’t do something to rein Netanyahu in, he’s not doing his duty as president.

Glenn Greenwald, at the Guardian, says Israel is now a rogue state, with the U.S. at its side.

So essentially, it’s the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north, Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side.

 (mondoweiss.net / 05.12.2012)

Israel rejects UN call for nuclear transparency

United Nations General Assembly (file photo)

United Nations General Assembly
Israel has rejected calls by the United Nations demanding Tel Aviv to open its nuclear facilities to international inspectors and to join Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Israeli regime has fiercely dismissed the United Nations’ vote as a “meaningless mechanical” one, saying the world body “has lost its credibility regarding Israel.”

Tel Aviv’s harsh reaction comes after the UN General Assembly urged Israel on Monday to quickly open its nuclear program to inspection and to join the NPT “without further delay.”

The 193-member General Assembly passed the resolution with 174 ayes against six nays with six abstentions, urging Tel Aviv to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have access to its nuclear facilities.

Only the US, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted against the resolution that reflects growing international concerns about suspicious Israeli nuclear activities.

The United Nations’ call for nuclear transparency comes shortly after the United States canceled a conference on making the Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

The major event has reportedly been cancelled on US worries that its long-time ally in the region, Israel, would come under fire as the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

On November 23, the United States announced that the conference, originally scheduled to be held in Finland’s capital, Helsinki, in December, cannot be convened at this point due to what it called the special conditions in the Middle East.

Israel, the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, is widely known to have between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads.

The Israeli regime rejects all the regulatory international nuclear agreements — the NPT in particular — and refuses to allow its nuclear facilities to come under international regulatory inspections.

(www.presstv.ir / 05.12.2012)