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Interpol blocks Palestine membership bid under Israel pressure

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 2:52
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572675f1-9120-4312-9eda-23d41c5b32e4An Indonesian police officer stands near delegation’s flags from Interpol member countries during a conference in Bali, Indonesia, November 7, 2016. (Photo by AP)

The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has suspended a Palestinian application to join the intergovernmental organization after coming under pressure from the Tel Aviv to turn down the bid.

Interpol’s annual conference, which is being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, decided on Tuesday to put on hold the Palestinian initiative and instead appoint an advisor to review the appeal and report back at the 2017 meeting in Beijing.

Membership bids from the Solomon Islands and Kosovo were also blocked.

Last week, Palestinian Foreign Ministry official Ammar Hijazi said that his country had applied for Interpol membership over a year ago, but the body’s executive committee had rejected the request for a vote and referred it to a committee of experts for examination.

The Lyon-based Interpol, which facilitates international police cooperation, currently has 190 member countries.

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.

Since then, Palestine has joined 54 international organizations and agreements, among them the International Criminal Court and UNESCO, according to Hijazi.


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