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Interpol Approves Membership for Palestine

28 September 2017

JERUSALEM • Palestine joined Interpol as a member state yesterday, a move opposed by Israel, in a vote at the worldwide police organisation's general assembly in Beijing, Interpol said.

The United States believes the unilateral move to have worldwide bodies recognise Palestinian statehood will thwart efforts to restart the peace process.

"We are disappointed by the Interpol vote to admit the "State of Palestine" as a full member state", Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President for International Affairs Sharon Nazarian said in a statement.

Maliki told official PA radio on Tuesday that the USA and Israel had been trying to block the Palestinians' efforts to join Interpol this year.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which opposed membership of Palestine, demanded that vote be postponed for at least one year.

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

Seventy-five countries voted in favor during an Interpol meeting in Beijing, with 24 opposing and 34 abstentions.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it "another failure" for Netanyahu.

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This all occurred while most of the other nations on this planet were cutting ties and creating new sanctions with Pyongyang. The message that should be clear to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is that "if you want to go, we're ready", he said.

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

More than 75 per cent of Interpol members are said to have voted to approve the Palestinian bid. They'll get access to information that other police agencies around the world have shared about criminal activity and will be able to issue red notices, which function as global nonbinding warrants requesting the extradition of criminal fugitives.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed the vote as a "victory for law enforcement" and "voice of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement in Palestine".

"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.

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

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 now represents police forces for 192 member states.

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.

Interpol Approves Membership for Palestine