Interpol Approves Membership for Palestinian Authority


"Issues such as statehood, borders, security and related mechanisms can only be resolved through direct negotiations, and the worldwide community should refrain from rewarding Palestinian efforts to circumvent this process".

Interpol announced the inclusion of the "State of Palestine" as well as the Solomon Islands on Twitter and its website after a vote by its general assembly in Beijing.

The Palestine Liberation Organization said on Twitter that more than 75 percent of Interpol members voted to approve membership.

In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations to "non-member state" from "entity", like the Vatican.

The United States believes the unilateral move to have worldwide bodies recognise Palestinian statehood will thwart efforts to restart the peace process.

"Such an acceptance sends a clear message to the Israeli government that we are not population centers at its mercy; we believe in a system that is based on the global rule of law and due process and one which enforces accountability and cooperation at the worldwide level", PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said.

More than anything else, Palestine's admission to Interpol can be understood as the global community telling Netanyahu that the two-state solution remains the only viable blueprint for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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However, Alan Baker, a former senior Israeli diplomat and legal expert, said "it's just a political PR move" on the part of the Palestinians.

The Palestinian prime minister applied for Interpol membership in 2015, and submitted a formal letter this July promising not to use the organization "for any political, military, racial or religious interventions or activities" and promising to cooperate with Interpol activities, according to minutes of the Interpol meeting.

Meanwhile, Louai Irzeiqat, spokesperson of the Palestinian Police, told Xinhua that joining the Interpol is "important and a merger within the global community", as this development "will help following up cases outside of the Palestinian territories".