nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

Palestine voted into Interpol

28 September 2017, 12:22 | Colleen Roy

Interpol votes to admit 'State of Palestine' as new member state


Despite significant diplomatic pressure from the United States and Israel, the Palestinian Authority has been allowed to join Interpol, the worldwide police organization. Opponents say recognizing Palestine in worldwide organizations undermines long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood.

Global police agency Interpol voted Wednesday to include Palestine as a member state, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for worldwide recognition and influence amid long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood.

In the end, 75 countries supported Palestine's bid for membership, 34 abstained, and 24 opposed it.

The PA foreign minister added that the Palestinians' bid to join the worldwide police organization succeeded because "of the principled position of the majority of Interpol's members...who clearly refused efforts of political manipulation and gamesmanship".

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.

"Palestine will commit to obligations and contribute to combating crime and law enforcement on the worldwide level", Malki noted.

The Solomon Islands also was admitted, bringing Interpol to 192 members. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it "another failure" for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel's prime minister is criticizing the Palestinian acceptance to Interpol, saying it harms chances for peace.

Palestine would contribute 0.03 percent to Interpol's budget in 2018, the resolution also said.

A majority of more than two-thirds of the yes-or-no votes was needed to pass, and upon the count the one-country one-vote basis passed that threshold easily.

A page on the Interpol website listed Palestine as a member since 27 September 2017.

A day earlier, the PNA criticized the US for seeking to postpone Palestine's bid to join Intepol to next year.

Riad Malki said in a statement Wednesday that the vote by the Interpol general assembly "is the voice of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement in Palestine".

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.

Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, eases the exchange of information between police forces and issues "red notices" - non-binding notifications of arrest warrants - at the request of a member state or an global tribunal.

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