Israel Seeks to Stymie PA’s Membership in Interpol

YERUSHALAYIM -
Gilad Erdan. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. (Alex Kolomoisky/Pool)

On a visit to Moscow Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan asked Russian officials to oppose the Palestinian Authority’s inclusion in international law enforcement organization Interpol. Erdan told officials that the PA did not have an effective police force, and was not qualified to meet the standards set by Interpol.

Israel has been working feverishly to prevent the Palestinian Authority from becoming a member of Interpol, the international law enforcement organization. A vote on the matter could come as early as this week, as the organization holds its annual meeting in Bali. The PA first applied in August 2015, but the application was pushed off by the group, which said that it needed to do more research on the PA’s qualifications. Turkey last month announced that it would sponsor a resolution to include the PA as a member in the organization. Israeli officials have meanwhile been contacting representatives of many of the 190 member countries, asking them to vote against the PA’s membership.

Israel has been arguing that the PA has failed to enforce laws in its own territory, and would be unlikely to begin doing so with Interpol membership. The organization allows member countries to issue warrants for the arrest of suspects in cases where they flee to international destinations. Member countries are supposed to detain suspects and either try them locally or deport them. Israel says that it has asked the PA dozens of times to turn in terrorists, but has been refused each time.

Israel is concerned that the PA will use its membership to demand the extradition of IDF officers who kill terrorists or act against PA-sponsored terror attacks, government officials said. “The inclusion of the PA in Interpol will politicize the organization, and this will weaken it,” one official told Channel Ten.