EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The recent admittance of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) borders on the absurd. The PA has no access to chemical weapons technology and is not threatened by chemical weapons. Nor did it ever condemn the Halabja chemical weapons massacre of Iraqi Kurds by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1988 or the multiple chemical weapons assaults on civilians by Bashar Assad’s regime during the Syrian Civil War. If anything, the PA’s admittance to the OPCW is another step in the Palestinian campaign to win recognition from international organizations that can then serve as additional fora through which to censure Israel. Next, the PA might attempt to be accepted as a member of international nuclear organizations and conventions.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) recently issued the surprising announcement that “the State of Palestine deposited on 17 May 2018 its instrument of accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the depositary of the Convention.”
The US is reportedly considering cutting funding to the OPCW as well as to several other UN agencies that the Palestinians have joined. An unnamed US official told the AFP, “It has been the consistent position of the United States that efforts by the Palestinians to join international organizations are premature and counterproductive.”