Sept. 27 (UPI) — The International Police Organization on Wednesday approved the “State of Palestine” as a new member state — over the objections of the United States and Israel.
The Palestinian Authority’s admittance to Interpol received the necessary two-thirds majority approval during the body’s 86th annual conference in Beijing Wednesday.
In a secret ballot at Interpol’s annual conference, 75 countries voted in favor of adding Palestine — and 24 opposed the move. There were 34 abstentions.
The Palestinians’ admission was aggressively opposed by the United States and Israel, which argues that the Palestinian Authority shouldn’t be admitted because it’s not a formal, recognized state.
Israel unsuccessfully lobbied Interpol to postpone the vote until next year’s conference.
A bid for Palestinian inclusion failed last year, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time was reflection of his nation’s bolstered international standing.
Interpol now represents police forces for 192 member states. The intergovernmental law enforcement body, headquartered in France, was founded in 1923.
Kosovo, another disputed territory, withdrew its application for membership this year after learning that Russia planned to oppose the move. The Solomon Islands were also accepted as a new member Wednesday.
“The Interpol General Assembly has also adopted a resolution interpreting Article 4 of the Constitution which governs the criteria under which countries can apply for membership of the Organization in the future,” the agency said. “The resolution introduces guidelines and procedures to achieve transparency, consistency and clarity, and assist countries in preparing their requests for membership.”
Under the resolution, countries will need to verify that they meet conditions for statehood and that they have “studied, understood and will abide by the Interpol Constitution.”