Interpol admits State of Palestine

Interpol gathering in Beijing China

JERUSALEM • Palestine joined Interpol as a member state yesterday, a move opposed by Israel, in a vote at the global police organisation's general assembly in Beijing, Interpol said.

Global police agency 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.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which opposed membership of Palestine, demanded that vote be postponed for at least one year.

"On this joyous occasion, the State of Palestine reiterates its commitment to upholding its obligations and contributing to fighting crime and furthering the rule of law", Mr Maliki said in a statement.

Seventy-five countries voted in favor during an Interpol meeting in Beijing, with 24 opposing and 34 abstentions. The Palestinian foreign minister added in an interview with the Palestinian press that the joining of the Palestinian Authority is the result of countries that choose to defend the existence of INTERPOL and promote the body's basic values.

The Palestinian candidacy was approved along with a bid by the Solomon Islands as the organisation held its annual general assembly in Beijing. They'll get access to information that other police agencies around the world have shared about criminal activity and will be able to issue red notices, which function as worldwide nonbinding warrants requesting the extradition of criminal fugitives.

Set up nearly a century ago, Interpol was created to help countries share police intelligence and cooperate against crime cross worldwide borders, including terrorism.

A senior Palestinian official said there were no plans to sue any Israelis through Interpol.

On Tuesday, two Israeli security guards and a border policeman were shot dead by a Palestinian at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.

A page on the Interpol website listed Palestine as a member since 27 September 2017.

"Interpol now has an absurd situation where member states will share sensitive information with Palestinian police, whose members have been accused of involvement in countless murders and heinous attacks throughout the years", Heideman continued.

A previous attempt to join Interpol was thwarted during the previous general assembly in Indonesia, when the body made a decision to postpone any vote on accepting new members.

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