Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his country’s Foreign Ministry to increase its efforts to prevent the Palestinian Authority (PA) from joining the international police organization Interpol. The Palestinian membership bid is scheduled to be discussed at Interpol’s annual assembly, which will take place Sept. 26-29 in Beijing.
Based in Lyon, France, Interpol numbers 190-member states, making it the second-largest international organization after the United Nations.
The Palestinians have been eyeing an Interpol membership for several years. An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said over the weekend that admission to the prestigious international law enforcement body would significantly bolster the Palestinians’ statehood bid, and may unilaterally “state facts on the ground.”
Israel has also expressed concern that the Palestinians might abuse their membership and use Interpol as a platform from which to undermine the Jewish state, including potential demands to extradite Israeli officials or pursue other legal action against them, based on the Palestinian argument that the settlement enterprise is a “crime.”
A two-thirds majority vote is required for the PA membership bid to be approved. According to the Foreign Ministry official, Israel is working to toughen the acceptance criteria while simultaneously trying to postpone the vote.