Palestine admitted to Interpol

Laura Christensen
September 28, 2017

Despite objections from Israel and the United States, the Interpol Executive Committee decided Wednesday to approve the Palestinian Authority's bid to join the worldwide police commission, in a vote at the global police organization's general assembly in Beijing, Interpol said.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation said on Twitter that more than three-quarters of member states had voted in the secret ballot in favour of Palestinian membership.

Interpol on Wednesday approved the Palestinian Authority's membership bid, a new victory in its drive for global representation despite strong Israeli opposition.

"We continue to struggle", the statement said, highlighting Israel's attempts to block membership for Palestine.

Interpol membership will bring several benefits to Palestinian police.

Omar Awadallah, the head of the United Nations organizations department in the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, said the Palestinians "now have the right to sue anyone" and could theoretically use their Interpol status to pursue legal steps against Israelis suspected of crimes in Palestinian territory.

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

"Palestinians see settlement construction intensifying and hear Prime Minister Netanyahu vowing to further intensify it and to never remove any Israeli from West Bank settlements".

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According to Netanyahu's office, the prime minister told Greenblatt that "the actions of the Palestinian leadership in recent days severely impair the chances of achieving peace", and vowed that "Palestinian diplomatic warfare would not go unanswered".

On Tuesday, 75 countries voted in favour of admitting Palestine at Interpol's General Assembly in Beijing, with 24 voting against and 34 abstaining.

Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO. They are faced with an Israeli government that celebrates the settlements and the occupation - as it did today in Gush Etzion.

Bruno Min, a legal and policy officer at Fair Trials, a Europe-based human rights organization with a special focus on Interpol, said that Israel may also be concerned about the sharing of sensitive data.

Interpol didn't immediately announce how many members supported Palestinian membership.

A page on the Interpol website listed Palestine as a member since 27 September 2017. Interpol does not recognize Taiwan, whose statehood China vehemently rejects, as a member, and rejected the self-governing island's request to join the general assembly as an observer previous year.

The General Assembly discussed the guidelines for membership prior to the vote.

Other reports by My Hot News

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