07:28 GMT +322 October 2019
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    This Oct.16, 2007 file photo shows the entrance hall of Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, central France

    West Bank Blues: Palestine’s Interpol Membership Rattles Israeli Media

    © AP Photo / Laurent Cipriani, File
    Middle East
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    Palestine’s admission to Interpol raised concerns in the Israeli media regarding possible attempts by the Palestinian Authority to use the law enforcement organization for political attacks against Tel Aviv.

    Interpol’s decision to admit Palestine as a full member of the organization, coupled with ICC probes into the allegations of war crimes committed by the Israeli military during the 2014 Gaza conflict, has prompted concerns that the Palestinian Authority may have obtained new options to wage a legal battle against Israel.

    According to the Jerusalem Post, "both institutions have the potential authority to issue international arrest warrants against Israelis for alleged war crimes," not to mention that Interpol can "issue an arrest warrant without a preliminary or full criminal investigation."

    The newspaper pointed out, however, that "the legal establishment in Israel is not overly concerned with Interpol, mainly because the organization cannot, in all cases, bind its member states to act on arrest warrants the way members of the ICC are legally obligated."

    In this photo provided by Interpol, a Palestinian delegate receives the INTERPOL flag from the president of the International Criminal Police Organization Meng Hongwei second right, during the Interpol General Assembly, in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017
    © AP Photo / Interpol
    In this photo provided by Interpol, a Palestinian delegate receives the INTERPOL flag from the president of the International Criminal Police Organization Meng Hongwei second right, during the Interpol General Assembly, in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017

    On the other hand, after Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute in 2015, the ICC opened a probe into allegations of war crimes committed by Israeli Defense Forces during the conflict in Gaza in 2014, as well as "a preliminary examination of the settlement enterprise," which may culminate in "arrest warrants against top Israeli officials," the article’s author warns.

    Israel itself, however, is currently not a party to the Rome Statute.

    Earlier in September, Interpol voted to accept Palestine as a full member state via a secret ballot. The Palestinian membership was approved by 75 to 24 votes, with 34 abstentions.

    Following this development, Israel's Minister of Environmental Protection threatened to stop issuing work and entry permits to Palestinians as well as special travel permits for Palestinian leaders.

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    Tags:
    prospects, investigation, membership, International Criminal Court (ICC), Interpol, Palestine, Israel
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