(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
The International Police Organization (Interpol) is scheduled to vote later on Wednesday at its annual General Assembly meeting in Beijing on whether to admit the Palestinians as a member state, following rejection of a move to postpone the vote for another year.
Sixty-one percent of the 190 members voted Wednesday to reject a postponement, a postponement that Israel had been pushing for. The Palestinians will need a two-thirds majority to gain membership, something that Israeli diplomatic officials said last week they would be likely to muster.
The vote will be by secret ballot, something that in international forums traditionally plays to Israel's disadvantage.
Though the vote was scheduled for Wednesday morning Israel time, it has now been pushed off until later in the day because a number of countries, including Israel, claimed there were irregularities on an earlier vote regarding the criteria needed to accept new members into the organization.
One official said that Israel is continuing to fight against the move until the very end.
Israel is adamantly opposed to Palestinian admission to all international organizations, arguing that a state of Palestine does not exist and, therefore, it cannot be accepted as a state in international organizations.
A Palestinian bid to join Interpol, which represents police forces from 190 countries, failed last year
at the annual meeting in Indonesia.
At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the vote as a reflection of the change in Israel’s standing in the international community. Netanyahu has joined the Foreign Ministry in efforts this year, as well, to block the move.
A closer reading of last year’s vote, however, showed that Israel benefited from the fact that Kosovo also applied for membership – something actively opposed by Russia. Kosovo withdrew its candidacy this year, knowing that -- faced again with Russian opposition -- it would lose.
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