PA to Submit Request to Join Interpol

Official says the PA has enough votes to be accepted as a full member of the International Criminal Police Organization.

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Ben Ariel,

PA police officer
PA police officer
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to join the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), an official told the Ma’an news agency on Saturday.

The head of the international relations and cooperation department in the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Interior told Ma'an that the PA plans to submit a request to join the group in 2015, ahead of Interpol's annual meeting.

Ahmad al-Rabie said that the PA submitted a request to join the Interpol in 2011 but that it was only accepted as an observer and not as a full member because it had not been recognized as a state at the time and did not have control over its borders.

This time, however, the PA is sure that 128 countries will vote in favor of the state joining Interpol, four above the required threshold, al-Rabie told Ma’an.

He said joining Interpol will result in several international benefits for the PA, including the ability to take part in fighting cross-border crimes and fighting terrorism, money laundering, corruption, arms trade, and human trafficking.

Al-Rabie said that joining the Interpol will also benefit the PA police as they will receive training courses, expertise, and information from the organization.

PA officials had announced plans to join Interpol back in April, several weeks after PA applied to over 15 international agencies, in a unilateral move which torpedoed peace talks with Israel. 

The announcement on the renewed initiative comes a day after the PA’s envoy to the United Nations formally requested membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the PA was “seeking justice for all the victims that have been killed by Israel, the occupying power."

Even if the PA files the charges, legal rights experts say that having the ICC enter the fray of the Israeli-Arab conflict will ultimately harm the PA, Hamas, and the ICC itself - not Israel. 

In a recent interview, the PA's envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts - because Palestinian Arab terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.