(AFP) — Interpol on Wednesday approved the Palestinian Authority’s candidacy to join the global police organisation, a new victory in its push for membership in international institutions.
Israel lobbies hard against Palestinian candidacies to international organisations and claimed victory last year when the Palestinian bid to join Interpol was suspended.
The membership bid is part of Palestinian efforts to advance their goal of statehood.
Interpol approved the Palestinian application along with a bid by the Solomon Islands during its annual general assembly in Beijing.
“New member countries State of Palestine and Solomon Islands bring INTERPOL’s membership to 192,” Interpol said on its Twitter account.
It did not give the result but candidacies require the approval of a two-thirds majority of the countries present at the general assembly, excluding abstentions.
Palestine gained observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and since then has joined more than 50 international organisations and agreements, according to the Palestinian foreign ministry.
Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO.
Interpol, which is based in Lyon, France, eases the exchange of information between police forces. It also issues “red notices” — non-binding notifications of arrest warrants.
Israel’s foreign ministry declined to comment on the bid.
However, Alan Baker, a former senior Israeli diplomat and legal expert, said “it’s just a political PR move” on the part of the Palestinians.
“Because they’re not interested in negotiating (with Israel) they’re trying to achieve the end result, which is a state, through international organisations,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
He alleged that “the attempt by the Palestinians to politicise what is a super-professional organisation is very harmful to Interpol”.
Baker however rejected the notion that Palestinians would be able to initiate arrest warrants at will against Israelis by joining Interpol.