In­ter­pol ig­nores Is­raeli pleas and votes to make Pales­tine mem­ber

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

IN­TER­POL HAS be­come the lat­est in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion to ac­cept Pales­tine as a full mem­ber de­spite a fierce Is­raeli cam­paign to pre­vent the move.

Mem­bers of the global po­lice co­op­er­a­tion body, meet­ing at their an­nual con­fer­ence in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day, ac­cepted the ap­pli­ca­tion by 75 votes to 24, with 34 ab­sten­tions.

An­other ap­pli­ca­tion by the Solomon Is­lands was also ap­proved.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion an­nounced the de­ci­sion by tweet­ing: “The State of Pales­tine and the Solomon Is­lands are now IN­TER­POL mem­ber coun­tries.”

The de­ci­sion brings the to­tal num­ber of mem­bers to 192 and means Pales­tine will now have to nom­i­nate a na­tional of­fice pol­icy body that will rep­re­sent it at In­ter­pol.

It comes de­spite in­tense Is­raeli lob­by­ing ef­forts to pre­vent it, ar­gu­ing the Pales­tinian Author­ity did not meet In­ter­pol’s def­i­ni­tion of a state.

“This vic­tory was made pos­si­ble be­cause of the prin­ci­pled po­si­tion of the ma­jor­ity of In­ter­pol mem­bers,” Pales­tinian For­eign Min­is­ter Riyad alMa­liki said in a state­ment.

But Zeev Elkin, Is­rael’s En­vi­ron­ment and Jerusalem Af­fairs Min­is­ter, called for the can­cel­la­tion of all “ges­tures to

the Pales­tinian Author­ity”, in­clud­ing passes for lead­ing po­lit­i­cal fig­ures.

Op­po­si­tion MP Amir Peretz, a for­mer De­fence Min­is­ter, de­nounced the re­sult as “an­other fail­ure for the Ne­tanyahu pol­icy that could end in se­nior Is­raelis be­ing put on trial and jeop­ar­dise sen­si­tive in­tel­li­gence in­for­ma­tion.”

But a se­nior Is­raeli gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial who spoke to this news­pa­per said that there was lit­tle rea­son for Is­rael to re­act in a ma­jor way.

Pales­tini­ans would have lit­tle in­ter­est in is­su­ing war­rants over reg­u­lar crim­i­nal is­sues, the source said, be­cause they were ex­posed them­selves

to claims that their own se­cu­rity per­son­nel were in­volved in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties within Is­rael.

Is­raeli diplo­macy had suc­ceeded in block­ing Pales­tinian mem­ber­ship at In­ter­pol’s con­fer­ence last year, al­though that ap­pli­ca­tion was re­fused to­gether with one from Kosovo.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Pales­tine’s flag will soon join those of coun­tries rep­re­sented at In­ter­pol’s an­nual con­fer­ence

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