Don't Penalize Palestinians for Interpol Recognition

Sep 28, 2017, 00:23
Don't Penalize Palestinians for Interpol Recognition

Despite the heavy diplomatic pressure from Israel's National Security Council, Foreign Affairs Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry, the Palestinian Authority's request to join the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) was approved today (Wednesday).

'The overwhelming vote in favour of Palestine's membership is a reflection of the confidence in Palestine's ability to enforce law and abide by the core values of the organisation, ' PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told the official PA news site Wafa.

And that's what makes Israel nervous.

Interpol voted Wednesday to include Palestine as a member state, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for worldwide recognition and influence amid long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood. Each member country decides how to respond to such a notice and Interpol can't compel its members to arrest a wanted person who is the subject of a red notice.

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Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, eases the exchange of information between police forces and issues "red notices" - non-binding notifications of arrest warrants - at the request of a member state or an worldwide tribunal. But it is notoriously hard to remove a red notice once it has been issued, despite recent reforms attempting to streamline the appeals process.

Palestine would contribute 0.03 percent to Interpol's budget in 2018, the resolution also said.

Both Washington and Jerusalem are concerned the move could put key intelligence in the wrong hands and that the Palestinians could use Interpol to pursue criminal charges against Israelis.

Interpol said membership applications by the State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands were approved at its annual general assembly by more than the required two-thirds majority of votes. That didn't keep Iran from joining Interpol, nor has it prevented virtually any other country.

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A Chinese national, Meng Hongwei, now serves as Interpol's president, fueling accusations that China is using Interpol as a political tool.

Interpol now represents police forces for 192 member states.

Palestinians wave their national flag during a rally in Ramallah on November 29, 2012 to support Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas's bid for United Nations recognition of statehood.

"We are recognized by the United Nations and the most of the countries in the world", Jaradat said in a phone call.

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