Israel has launched a diplomatic campaign to block the Palestinian Authority from joining the International Police Organisation, Interpol, during its upcoming meeting in Beijing, i24 reported on Tuesday.
According to Quds Press, the Israeli news website said that Interpol has delegated former UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Hans Corell to study the membership criteria for countries seeking to join the organisation. To undermine the PA’s application, Israel is said to be working with the Interpol leadership to make the membership criteria stricter for new applicants. It is also, apparently, putting pressure on members to vote against the PA when its application is considered.
This is not the first time that the PA has tried to join Interpol. In 2016, member countries voted against PA membership by 62 votes to 56 during a meeting in Indonesia.
The PA’s Chief of Police Hazem Atallah met with the Secretary General of Interpol on 21 August and told him that the authority has met all of the criteria for membership. Based on the latest EU Office report, the PA civil police have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism in fighting crime.
The PA made a formal request to join Interpol in August 2015, noting that its membership would help it to arrest criminals who flee from justice. However, Quds Press said that Israel’s policy is to block the authority from joining international organisations because this gives it de facto recognition as a state. Israel is also concerned that if the PA becomes a member of Interpol, it will be able to issue “red notices” against Israelis and ask for them to be arrested and handed over to stand trial.