Israel’s steps to prevent PA admission to the international police organization are part of a larger effort to halt the Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Foreign Ministry to increase its efforts to prevent the Palestinian Authority (PA) from joining the international police organization (Interpol). The Palestinian membership bid is scheduled for discussion at Interpol’s annual assembly, which will take place Sept. 26-29 in Beijing.
Based in Lyon, France, Interpol consists of 190-member states, making it the second-largest international organization after the United Nations (UN).
The PA currently has the status of a “partially recognized state without membership.”
The Palestinians have been eyeing an Interpol membership for several years. A Foreign Ministry official said over the weekend admission to the prestigious international law enforcement body would significantly bolster the Palestinians’ statehood bid, and may unilaterally “state facts on the ground.”
Israel has also expressed concern that the Palestinians might abuse their membership and use Interpol as a platform from which to undermine the Jewish state, including potential demands to extradite Israeli officials or pursue other legal action against them, based on the Palestinian argument that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is a “crime.”
A two-thirds majority vote is required for the PA membership bid to be approved. According to the Foreign Ministry official, Israel is working to toughen the acceptance criteria while simultaneously trying to postpone the vote.
Speaking in November, Netanyahu revealed that Israel blocked an attempt by the Palestinians to become members of Interpol.
Over the past few years, the PA has attempted to join several international bodies, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), in an attempt to circumvent negotiations with Israel and attain international recognition, and in an effort to find new arenas in which they can combat Israel’s legitimacy and besmirch it on global stages.
The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) earlier this turned down a request by the PA to join the organization as a member state.
“The struggle in international bodies will certainly continue, but I have no doubt about the general long-term trend: Israel is strengthening its relations with countries around the world, and this reality will ultimately be reflected in the United Nations and other international institutions,” Netanyahu stressed at the time.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff
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