Israel’s current diplomatic battle: Prevent PA from joining INTERPOL

Israel’s recent efforts in the international arena have been dedicated to preventing the Palestinian Authority from joining INTERPOL. Israel’s main concern is that if the Palestinians join the International Police Organization, they will be able to issue international arrest warrants for IDF officers and Israeli politicians.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Over the past few weeks, Israel has been engaged in unprecedented diplomatic efforts to try to prevent the Palestinian Authority from joining the International Police Organization (INTERPOL). The vote on the Palestinian bid to join the 190-member state group is supposed to take place today (Sunday).

The main concern is that if the PA’s status is upgraded by becoming a full member of the organization, it will directly harm Israel by allowing Ramallah to issue international arrest warrants against IDF officers and Israeli politicians.

Many steps have been taken, especially by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in order to convince the INTERPOL member states to vote against the PA bid. Israel is worried that even though the US is on its side, it will be impossible to prevent the Palestinians from joining the organization.  

Israeli diplomats are working to persuade the INTERPOL’s board of directors to postpone the vote. However, if the efforts fail, Israel will likely face a difficult diplomatic battle over the next few days.

Ten days ago, the UN’s World Tourism Organization announced that the vote on the PA’s request to become an official member has been postponed. The chairman of the UN agency announced at a conference in China that the vote will take place at the next UNWTO plenary session in 2019. The announcement came after the organization was pressured by Israel and the US regarding the matter.

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