‘State of Palestine’ becomes full member of international police organization

Interpol accepted the “State of Palestine” into its ranks, despite Israel’s objections. 

Israel’s steps to prevent the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) admission to the international police organization (Interpol) have failed, and the international policing body voted to give the Palestinians full membership.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered the Foreign Ministry to increase its efforts to prevent the PA from joining Interpol, and Israel submitted a motion to have the vote on the Palestinian membership bid postponed. The motion was rejected and the majority of the voting member states on Wednesday backed giving the Palestinians full membership.

In a secret ballot that took place during Interpol’s annual assembly in Beijing, 75 members supported the bid, 24 voted against and 34 abstained.

Based in Lyon, France, Interpol consists of 192 member states, making it the second-largest international organization after the United Nations (UN).

Until the vote, the PA had the status of a “partially recognized state without membership.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the vote, hailing it as a Palestinian “victory.” He said the support for “Palestine’s” membership is “a vote of confidence in Palestine’s law enforcement capabilities and commitment to the core values of the organization. Palestine’s admission to Interpol is a victory for law enforcement and global cooperation.”

Hindering the War on Terror

The Palestinians have been eyeing an Interpol membership for several years. An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said over the weekend that Palestinian admission to the prestigious international law enforcement body would significantly bolster the Palestinians’ statehood bid and could unilaterally “state facts on the ground.”

Israel is concerned that the Palestinians might abuse their membership and use Interpol as a platform from which to undermine the Jewish state, including potential demands to extradite Israeli officials or pursue other legal action against them, based on the Palestinian argument that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is a “crime.”

Over the past few years, the PA has tried joining several international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), in an attempt to circumvent negotiations with Israel and attain international recognition. Memberships in organizations such as these would provide new opportunities to challenge Israel’s legitimacy and besmirch the Jewish state on global stages.

Israel also fears that the Palestinians’ support for terrorism could hinder Interpol’s efforts to fight such violence. The US also objected to the PA’s membership bid.

By: World Israel News Staff