State of Palestine becomes member of Interpol

Large majority of Interpol members vote to accept Palestinian application to join


Interpol has become the latest international organisation to admit Palestine as a full member despite a fierce Israeli campaign to prevent the move.

Members of the global police cooperation body, meeting at their annual conference in Beijing on Wednesday, accepted the application by 75 votes to 24, with 34 abstentions.

Another application by the Solomon Islands was also approved.

The organisation announced the decision by tweeting: “The State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands are now INTERPOL member countries.”

The decision, which brings the total number of members to 192, means Palestine will now have to nominate a national office policy body that will represent it at Interpol.

It comes despite intense Israeli lobbying efforts to prevent it, arguing the Palestinian Authority did not meet Interpol’s definition of a state.

“This victory was made possible because of the principled position of the majority of Interpol members,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a statement.

But Zeev Elkin, Israel’s Environment and Jerusalem Affairs Minister called for the cancellation of all “gestures to the Palestinian Authority”, including passes for leading figures.

“They can't wage a war and incite against us, here and in the world and at the same time expect gestures from Israel,” he said.

Israeli diplomacy had succeeded in blocking Palestinian membership at Interpol’s conference last year, where Kosovo had also applied to join.

Opposition MP Amir Peretz, a former Defence Minister, denounced this year’s vote as “another failure for the Netanyahu policy that could end in senior Israelis being put on trial and jeopardise sensitive intelligence information.”

But a senior Israeli government official said that there was little reason for Israel to react in a major way.

Palestinians would have little interest in issuing warrants over regular criminal issues, the source said, because they were exposed themselves to claims of their own security personnel being involved in criminal activities within Israel.

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