By Agence France-Presse
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday criticized Interpol’s decision to admit the Palestinian Authority as a member, saying it would weaken the global police body’s anti-terror capabilities.
“This decision will harm Interpol’s ability to fight international terror,” his office quoted him as saying a conference call with American Jewish leaders.
“This is not a decision based on professional need. It is absolutely a political decision,” he told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in a call to mark the Jewish high holidays.
Israel lobbies hard against Palestinian efforts to join global organisations to advance their goal of statehood, and had claimed victory last year when a Palestinian bid to join Interpol was suspended.
Interpol on Wednesday approved the Palestinian application, along with a bid by the Solomon Islands, during its annual general assembly in Beijing.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation’s negotiations affairs department said on Twitter that it had received more than 75 percent of the vote.
“Palestine’s membership is the outcome of members defending this organisation’s raison d’etre and advancing its core values, and a clear rejection of attempts at cynical manipulation and political bullying,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said in a statement.
“It is very sad, that the Palestinians have been able to politicise another professional body, as part of their campaign to undermine peace talks and delegitimize Israel,” Rivlin said.
Palestine gained observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and since then has joined more than 50 international organisations and agreements, according to the Palestinian foreign ministry.
Among them are the International Criminal Court and UNESCO, the United Nations heritage body.
Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, facilitates the exchange of information between police forces around the globe and issues “red notices” — non-binding notifications of arrest warrants — at the request of a member state or an international tribunal.