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Interpol Blocks Palestinian Membership Bid Under Israeli Pressure

Paris, November 9 (RHC)-- The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has suspended a Palestinian application to join the intergovernmental organization after coming under pressure from the Tel Aviv turn down the bid. 

Interpol’s annual conference, which is being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, decided on Tuesday to put on hold the Palestinian initiative and instead appoint an advisor to review the appeal and report back at the 2017 meeting in Beijing. 

Last week, Palestinian Foreign Ministry official Ammar Hijazi said that his country had applied for Interpol membership over a year ago, but the body’s executive committee had rejected the request for a vote and referred it to a committee of experts for examination. 

The Lyon-based Interpol, which facilitates international police cooperation, currently has 190 member countries.  

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.  Since then, Palestine has joined 54 international organizations and agreements, among them the International Criminal Court and UNESCO, according to Hijazi. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli parliament also approved an anti-Palestine bill in its first reading on Monday.  The bill prevents activists, who support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, from entering the occupied territories. 

The idea of boycotting pro-Palestine campaigners was first brought up by Israeli officials in August. Back then, the International Solidarity Movement condemned the Israeli suppression of Palestinian nonviolent resistance. 

“Isolation of Palestinians by denying access and/or deporting human rights activists aims to make Palestinian communities already vulnerable and suffering from abuse ... even more vulnerable,” the Palestinian-led movement said in a statement. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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