Ashrawi welcomes Interpol's decision to admit Palestine as a full member

Lucy Bush
September 28, 2017

Despite Israeli efforts to block Palestinian ascension to major global institutions, the world's largest worldwide police organisation, with 192 member countries, approved the Palestinian bid during its annual general assembly meeting in Beijing today. Instead of punishing the PA, APN urges the government of Israel to use this and other Palestinian actions on the global arena to advance a two-state peace deal.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "What happened today in Beijing was a defeat for Israel and the Trump administration, which tried to block the Palestinians' joining the Interpol, but it need not be a defeat for peace efforts".

The Palestine Liberation Organisation said on Twitter that more than 75 per cent of Interpol members voted to approve membership.

The Israeli foreign ministry has yet to comment on the vote.

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Seventy-five countries voted in favor during an Interpol meeting in Beijing, with 24 opposing and 34 abstentions.

"Palestinians see settlement construction intensifying and hear Prime Minister Netanyahu vowing to further intensify it and to never remove any Israeli from West Bank settlements".

The U.N. General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012 and UNESCO approved it as a full member. "Perhaps they might have concerns that any information that they try to disseminate through Interpol's channels, Palestine would now have access to".

In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision "seriously harms the chances to achieve peace".

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Palestine is already a member of dozens of worldwide organisations including Unesco, the United Nations cultural agency, and the global Criminal Court.

Set up nearly a century ago, Interpol was created to help countries share police intelligence and cooperate against crime cross worldwide borders, including terrorism. It claimed victory previous year when the Palestinian bid to join Interpol was suspended.

"The Palestinians have clearly not met the standards set by Interpol in contributing to make the world a safer place, in fact the opposite remains true", Heideman said.

To join the world's second-largest organization after the United Nations, the Palestinians needed two-thirds of all votes cast - they received three-quarters.

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The General Assembly discussed the guidelines for membership prior to the vote.

Other reports by Info About Network

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