In a stinging diplomatic defeat for Israel, the world’s largest international police organization on Wednesday accepted the “State of Palestine” as a full member.
At Interpol’s annual General Assembly in Beijing, the Palestinians’ membership bid was accepted with 75 counties voting yes, 24 voting no, and 34 abstaining.
Israel fiercely objected to the Palestinians joining Interpol, arguing that Ramallah’s alleged support for terrorism could hinder rather than aid Interpol’s efforts. The US administration, too, objected to Ramallah’s membership bid and helped Israel lobby against it.
Israel had expressed concerns that the PA’s membership in Interpol would result in sensitive information being leaked to Palestinian terror groups. It also reportedly fears Palestinian efforts via Interpol to mount legal challenges, including travel bans and extradition requests, against Israeli army officers and others for alleged war crimes.
Shortly after the vote at Interpol’s Executive Committee, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki welcomed the decision, hailing it as a “victory” for his people.
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