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PA to Join Geneva Conventions

In latest move to gain legitimacy, Switzerland signs PA on to Geneva Conventions.
By AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 4/11/2014, 2:12 PM / Last Update: 4/11/2014, 2:24 PM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties' guardian Switzerland confirmed Friday.

Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP that the PA had declared itself party to the conventions on April 2. The PA was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday, he added.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas unilaterally applied to join 15 international conventions and treaties late last week.The treaties include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture, and an anti-corruption accord. 

Following Abbas's breach of conditions, Israel took several punitive measures and sanctions in response. On Wednesday, government ministries were formally banned from meeting with PA officials

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also signed official documents Wednesday to confirm reception of ten of the requests to conventions co-signed by the UN. 

In response, an official announced on Thursday that Israel enacted additional sanctions, freezing the transfer of taxes Israel collects for the PA, suspending participation with the PA to develop a gas field in the sea off of Hamas-controlled Gaza, and putting a cap on PA deposits in Israeli banks.

The original Geneva Conventions were crafted in the 19th century under the auspices of the Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross, and
recast after World War II.

Over the subsequent decades, optional protocols were added to take into account the developing realities of war and its impact on civilians.