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Don't Penalize Palestinians for Interpol Recognition

Don't Penalize Palestinians for Interpol Recognition

The global policing body backed membership for "the State of Palestine" at its annual general assembly.

Israel had argued Palestine is not a state and that it is ineligible to join.

But Palestine's membership in Interpol shouldn't actually pose a new concern for Israel, he said: Pretty much the whole world is already in the police organization.

A Palestinian bid to join past year, at an Interpol conference in Indonesia, was foiled by what Israel said was its diplomatic campaign against it.

Israel argued that Palestinian inclusion in Interpol would endanger Israeli military officials and politicians, who could face arbitrary worldwide arrest orders, and would put at risk classified intelligence shared among the organization's 192 member states, allowing it to be transmitted to Palestinian terrorists.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which said earlier that Israel's efforts to delay a vote until next year had failed, had no immediate comment on the decision. He promised to uphold Palestinian commitments to combating crime and strengthening the rule of law.

With the new votes, Interpol will have 192 member countries. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it "another failure" for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 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.

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In 2012, the U.N. General Assembly elevated the Palestinian Authority's observer status from "entity" to "non-member state", similar to the Vatican.

The approval vote requires the Palestinians to pay membership dues worth 0.03 percent of the Interpol budget.

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

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

Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, eases the exchange of information between police forces and issues "red notices" - non-binding notifications of arrest warrants - at the request of a member state or an global tribunal.

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

Palestinian membership of Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, will ease the exchange of information between police forces across the globe.

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