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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN Headquarters in New York [File].(Photo by: REUTERS)
Palestinians applied for eight international conventions, says official
By ADAM RASGON
03/28/2018
Israel has rigorously lobbied against Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and organizations.
Palestinians submitted application forms to be accepted for membership in eight international conventions, an official said on Tuesday.

The Palestinians submitted the forms some three months after they applied for membership in 22 other international conventions and treaties.

The Palestinian official told The Jerusalem Post that he could not reveal the specific names of the conventions.

They include the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies; the Optional Protocol to Vienna Conventions On Diplomatic Relations; the Convention on Special Missions; the Food Assistance Convention; the International Convention against Apartheid in Sports; the Supplementary Convention on Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery; the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations; and the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Channel 2 first reported that the Palestinians applied for membership in the eight international conventions.

The Palestinian official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that “becoming members of these international conventions and treaties strengthens the Palestinian issue on the international level and demonstrates our commitment to upholding international standards in our state institutions.”

He also said that applying for membership in these conventions shows that the Palestinians remain “committed to a nonviolent strategy” to achieve statehood.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Israel holds that Palestinian efforts to gain membership in international conventions and organizations constitute unilateral and one-sided measures aimed at achieving statehood while bypassing peace negotiations and undermining Israel’s standing in the international community.

Over the past several years, Israel has rigorously lobbied against Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and organizations.

The Palestinian official also said the Palestinians plan to formally request membership in two additional international conventions after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signs application forms for them in the near future.

After US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated the relocation of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to the city in December, Abbas said that the Palestinians would submit applications to international conventions and organizations every Monday.

However, according to another Palestinian official who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Palestinians have not been submitting applications to join international conventions and organizations on a weekly basis.

Abbas also has not made a decision to apply for membership in several UN organizations, which the US would not be legally permitted to fund if the Palestinians gained membership in them equal to that of other states.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.
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