The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday submitted applications to join international organizations and treaties.

The applications were handed over to the representatives of the UN, Switzerland and Holland by PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki.

The move came one day after PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed the application to join 15 international organizations and treaties.

Abbas signed letters of accession for the following treaties and conventions, Palestinian News Agency Maan reported:

1. The Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the First Additional Protocol
2. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
3. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
4. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in armed conflict
5. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
6. The Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and its annex: Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land
7. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
8. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
9. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
10. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
11. The United Nations Convention against Corruption
12. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
13. The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid
14. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
15. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The PA Foreign Ministry said that the decision to apply was taken in response to Israel’s refusal to release the fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners at the end of March.

Holding the Israeli government responsible for the current crisis in the peace talks, the ministry said that Palestinian membership in international bodies and treaties was a Palestinian right and that reflects the will of the international community.

The ministry said in a statement that Abbas’s move was aimed at salvaging the peace process and the negotiations with Israel.

PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the decision to join the 15 international organizations and treaties was a first step toward joining all United Nations agencies.

Abed Rabbo told reporters in Ramallah that the PA leadership would not make concessions on Palestinians’ political and national rights. “Israeli blackmail won’t make us backtrack,” he said.

Abed Rabbo accused Israel of violating an agreement with US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the release of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords more than two decades ago.

The PA leadership, he added, won’t return to the peace talks for the sake of negotiating. The Palestinians are interested in pursuing the peace process and honoring all agreements, he said.


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