UN Slaps Down US, Israel Plea; Admits ‘Palestine’ to Interpol
In a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel, the UN has admitted ‘Palestine’ to the International Police Organization (Interpol) as a member state in a vote at its annual General Assembly meeting in Beijing. The campaign for the Palestinians to be admitted comes despite a reported promise by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to refrain from such unilateral acts until the US can formulate its new peace proposals. Washington has backed Jerusalem in its adamant opposition to all Palestinian bids to join international organizations, arguing that such efforts derail the official peace process. The UN has again rejected the argument that a state of Palestine does not exist and therefore cannot be accepted into global forums. In the case of Interpol, the US and Israel are concerned that sensitive intelligence will fall into the wrong hands while the Israelis are also concerned that the Palestinians will use their status to initiate frivolous criminal actions against Israel and Israelis. Wednesday’s development comes weeks after the Palestinian leadership withdrew a request to enter the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization when the US threatened to close the Fatah movement’s Washington office; and follows the recent submission by Palestinian rights groups of a 700-page document to the International Criminal Court, alleging that high-ranking Israeli officials have been complicit in committing war crimes in the West Bank, calling for an urgent “investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.” The Palestinians’ accession into Interpol comes as chief American negotiator Jason Greenblatt has arrived in Israel to press ahead with diplomatic efforts to renew peace talks; an effort already marred by Tuesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem Hills community of Har Adar, in which a Palestinian shot dead three Israelis and seriously wounded another.