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Interpol, Risking Politicization, Admits PA as Member
28 September 2017, 12:23 | Floyd Cook
Interpol gathering in Beijing China
Established in 1923, Interpol is the world's largest police organization and now has 192 members after the admission of Solomon Islands and the State of Palestine on Wednesday.
Israel had argued Palestine is not a state and that it is ineligible to join.
Shortly after 75% of INTERPOL's member states voted in favor of admitting the Palestinian Authority as a member state of the global body, PA officials celebrated in Ramallah.
Interpol members approved the Palestinian Authority membership application by 75 to 24 votes, with 34 abstentions. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that the Palestinian membership could harm peace efforts.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry, which said earlier that Israel's efforts to delay a vote until next year had failed, had no immediate comment on the decision.
"On this joyous occasion, the State of Palestine reiterates its commitment to upholding its obligations and contributing to fighting crime and furthering the rule of law", Maliki added.
To be sure, the fact that a large majority of Interpol member states ignored Jerusalem's requests does not contradict Netanyahu's assertion that Israel is a "rising global power" that has much to offer to the countries of the world.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it "another failure" for Netanyahu.
Over Israeli objections, the U.N. General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state in 2012.
Israel says Palestinian incitement has fuelled the attacks.
Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO.
Zeev Elkin, Israel's Minister of Environmental Protection and a close associate of Netanyahu, said in retaliation for the Palestinians joining Interpol, Israel should cancel gestures granted to the Palestinians, including work and entry permits, and special travel permits for Palestinian leaders.
Interpol now represents police forces for 192 member states. More than 130 countries recognize Palestine as a state.
"At Interpol, we aim to facilitate worldwide police cooperation even where diplomatic relations do not exist between particular countries", it says in a statement on its website.
The approval vote requires the Palestinians to pay membership dues worth 0.03 percent of the Interpol budget.
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