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PNA hails Interpol's approval of Palestinian membership


Americans for Peace Now (APN) rejects calls by senior members of the Israeli cabinet to penalize the Palestinian Authority for its move to gain membership in Interpol, the worldwide police organization. Opponents say recognizing Palestine in worldwide organizations undermines negotiations with Israel for full statehood.

Interpol on Wednesday approved an application by the Palestinian Authority to join the worldwide police organisation despite Israel's staunch opposition.

Israel had appealed to the Interpol Executive Committee to keep the vote on the Palestinians off the agenda on the grounds that there is no State of Palestine, including under the organisation's guidelines.

A bid for Palestinian inclusion failed a year ago, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time was reflection of his nation's bolstered global standing.

Israel's Foreign Ministry strongly opposes the Palestinians' entry into Interpol, arguing that it encourages Palestinian unilateralism and citing concerns that the Palestinians could compromise sensitive information shared among the group's members. He promised to uphold Palestinian commitments to combating crime and strengthening the rule of law.

The Solomon Islands were also accepted as a new member Wednesday.

"It was a hard effort, but it produced results", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared happily at the time.

On Tuesday, 75 countries voted in favour of admitting Palestine at Interpol's General Assembly in Beijing, with 24 voting against and 34 abstaining. The Palestinian foreign minister added in an interview with the Palestinian press that the joining of the Palestinian Authority is the result of countries that choose to defend the existence of INTERPOL and promote the body's basic values.


More than anything else, Palestine's admission to Interpol can be understood as the worldwide community telling Netanyahu that the two-state solution remains the only viable blueprint for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More than 130 countries recognize Palestine as a state.

In accordance with its new status, the PA will now be able to issue global arrest warrants for IDF officers and obtain sensitive information about the fight against terrorism.

Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO.

A senior Palestinian official said there were no plans to sue any Israelis through Interpol.

"Such an acceptance sends a clear message to the Israeli government that we are not population centers at its mercy; we believe in a system that is based on the global rule of law and due process, and one which enforces accountability and cooperation at the worldwide level", she added.

In this photo provided by Interpol, delegates are seated for the 86th session of the General Assembly, in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.

"The Interpol General Assembly has also adopted a resolution interpreting Article 4 of the Constitution which governs the criteria under which countries can apply for membership of the Organization in the future", the agency said.

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