Israeli PM Yair Lapid addressing the UNGA last month
Israeli PM Yair Lapid addressing the UNGA last monthYoni Kempinski

The United Nations General Assembly's first committee, which deals with disarmament, global challenges, and threats to peace that affect the international community, voted 152-5, on Friday, on a resolution concerning "the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East". The resolution states that Israel must dispose of all its nuclear weapons and place its nuclear sites under the International Atomic Energy Agency's purview.

The resolution, which is submitted every year to the UNGA in New York, was submitted by Egypt and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and 19 counties including Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates.

Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau, and the United States voted against the resolution. Another 24 countries abstained, including European Union members.

While Israel has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons, the resolution clearly singles out the Jewish state.

The resolution notes that Israel is the only country in the Middle East and one of the few among the UN's 193 member states, which has not signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT).

The resolution calls on Israel to on Israel "to accede to the Treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and to place all its unsafe guarded nuclear facilities under the full scope of Agency safeguards as an important confidence-building measure among all Staes of the region and as a step toward enhancing peace and security."

The first committee also voted 170-4, on Friday, to call for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. Israel was the only country that opposed the text. Four countries abstained: the United States, Cameron, Comoros, and Tanzania.