Palestine Joins Interpol, Despite Israeli Opposition

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Israel lobbies hard against Palestinian efforts to join global organisations to advance their goal of statehood. It also raised concerns that the Palestinians might use their elevated status to seek the arrests of Israelis, though Palestinian officials said there were no immediate plans to do so. The motion to welcome the PNA in the organization was opposed until the end by the USA and Israel.

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

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed Wednesday's vote as a "victory for law enforcement" and a "voice of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement in Palestine".

"Palestine will commit to obligations and contribute to combating crime and law enforcement on the worldwide level", Malki noted. The vote passed 75 to 24, with 34 abstentions.

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Over Israeli objections, the U.N. General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012.

Interpol has voted to admit the Palestinian Authority as a full member in a secret vote of representatives of the worldwide police agency, despite concerns over their attempt to politicize a professional organization, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

Since then, the Palestinians have sought to join various United Nations and worldwide bodies to buttress their dream of gaining independence. Under interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals, a Palestinian Authority was granted limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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.

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"How would they want us to be in Interpol?" he said.

At the start of the meeting, Ashrawi welcomed Ambassador Riley to Palestine and expressed her appreciation to New Zealand for being one of four countries to sponsor UNSC Resolution 2334 last December and for its continued support of Palestinian self-determination and freedom.

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

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

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