Palestine Joins Interpol, Despite Israeli Opposition

April FrancisSep 28, 2017

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday welcomed Interpol's decision to admit the Palestinians as a member in the global police body.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that more than 75 percent of Interpol members voted to approve membership.

The statement "Palestinian State and Solomon Islands are now members of INTERPOL" was used.

Interpol has admitted the Palestinian territories as a new member, despite opposition from Israel.

Israel tried to delay the vote, arguing that Palestine was not a state and therefore ineligible for membership.

"On this joyous occasion, the State of Palestine reiterates its commitment to upholding its obligations and contributing to fighting crime and furthering the rule of law".

Alan Baker, a senior Israeli diplomat, told the AFP news agency ahead of the vote that Palestine's membership application was "just a political PR move".

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

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The U.N. General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012 and UNESCO approved it as a full member.

Israel's prime minister is criticizing the Palestinian acceptance to Interpol, saying it harms chances for peace. In the eyes of many governments across the globe, Palestinian statehood is inevitable, and they feel they need to vote accordingly in global forums.

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

Palestinian membership of Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, will ease the exchange of information between police forces across the globe.

"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.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, is an worldwide clearing house for arrest warrants and police cooperation against cross-border terrorism, trafficking and other crime.

About 300 Palestinians - majority assailants, Israel says - have also been killed in that period, according to AFP news agency.

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