Israel faces setback in efforts to keep Palestinians out of Interpol

The issue is now scheduled to come to Interpol’s General Assembly on Tuesday, where Israel will once again try to block the move.

September 26, 2017 00:36
1 minute read.

Interpol. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Israel's efforts to thwart a Palestinian bid to become a member of the International Police Organization (Interpol) were set back Monday when the organization's board of directors meeting in Beijing did not agree on a resolution that would have postponed the bid.

The issue is now scheduled to come to Interpol’s General Assembly on Tuesday, where Israel will once again try to block the move. One possible tactic is to initiate a debate on procedural issues such as what are the characteristics of a state needed for membership, and then to argue that the Palestinians do not meet the criteria. This, too, however, would have to go to a vote of the full plenum.

“The story is not over yet,” one Israeli diplomatic official said.

If the plenary decides to hold a vote on whether to accept the Palestinian candidacy, it will need two-thirds of the 190 members to pass.

A Palestinian bid to join Interpol, which represents police forces from some 190 countries, failed last year at the annual meeting in Indonesia, along with bids by Kosovo and Solomon Islands.

One of the reason that move failed, however, was that it was on the same ballot with Kosovo, whose acceptance was adamantly opposed by Russia. This year, however, Kosovo withdrew its bid, realizing that it did not have enough support for the move.

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.

In addition, regarding Interpol specifically, Israel is concerned that if the Palestinians join they would push for arrest warrants against Israeli citizens.

Jerusalem also is concerned that sensitive information it shares with the organization could – if the Palestinians were members – be compromised.

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