Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday welcomed Interpol’s decision to admit the Palestinians as a member in the international police body.
74 interpol member states on Wednesday backed a motion to permit the Palestinians entry into the international group. Interpol is an intergovernmental organization that facilitates cooperation between police around the world.
“The overwhelming vote in favor of Palestine’s membership is a reflection of the confidence in Palestine’s ability to enforce the law and commit to the organization’s basic values,” Maliki said in a statement published on the official PA news site Wafa.
The PA foreign minister added that the Palestinians’ bid to join the international police organization succeeded because “of the principled position of the majority of Interpol’s members…who clearly refused efforts of political manipulation and gamesmanship.”
Maliki told official PA radio on Tuesday that the US and Israel had been trying to block the Palestinians’ efforts to join Interpol this year.
The Palestinians first tried to join Interpol in 2011 as a member, but were only granted observer status. They applied to gain membership in Interpol again in 2015 and 2016, but were unsuccessful both times.
On Wednesday, Maliki also pledged that the Palestinians will be a loyal member to the international police group.
“The State of Palestine considers this membership, and responsibilities that come along with it, as part and parcel of its responsibilities to the Palestinian people and its ethical obligation to the world’s citizens,” he said. “Palestine is ready and able to bear these responsibilities and obligations as an effective partner to the international community.”
Before past attempts to earn membership in Interpol, Palestinian officials said they wanted to work with the organization to pursue Palestinian expatriates suspected of corruption and other crimes.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry strongly opposes the Palestinians’ entry into Interpol, arguing that it encourages Palestinian unilateralism and citing concerns that the Palestinians could compromise sensitive information shared among the group’s members.
PA Deputy Foreign Minister Tayseer Jaradat on Monday told The Jerusalem Post that Israel’s opposition to the Palestinians joining Interpol is “unreasonable.”
“We are recognized by the United Nations and the most of the countries in the world,” Jaradat said in a phone call. “Therefore, we have the right to apply for membership in international organizations.”
Jaradat also rejected Israel’s accusation that the Palestinians could undermine sensitive information available to Interpol members.
“This is absolutely not true,” Jaradat remarked. “Our security forces are highly professional and responsible.”