Israel Working to Prevent PA Membership in Interpol

YERUSHALAYIM -

Once again, Israel is working to prevent the Palestinian Authority from becoming a member of Interpol, the international law enforcement organization. Much of the work is being done behind the scenes, with Israel securing commitments from nations to vote against the PA’s inclusion in the organization. Israel’s main concern, officials told Yediot Acharonot, is that the status of the PA would be enhanced, and that the Authority would politicize the organization – for example, issuing international arrest orders for IDF officers.

Efforts to keep the PA out of Interpol succeeded last year. Israel succeeded in convincing 62 out of the organization’s 164 voting members to vote the PA’s application down, after a major Israeli diplomatic effort explaining to member states why the PA should not be allowed to join. 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.

Israel has argued that the PA had 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 said that it has asked the PA dozens of times to turn in terrorists, but has been refused each time.