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PA police chief meets with Interpol general secretary in France

Aug. 22, 2017 3:51 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 3:51 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Chief of Palestinian Civil Police Major General Hazem Atallah met on Monday with Interpol General Secretary Jurgen Stock at the Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France, where Atallah briefed Stock on the civil security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and discussed Palestine's bid to join the global police organization.

The Palestinian police released a statement on Tuesday outlining the Palestinian police’s qualifications, which should allow it to be part of the international security system, saying “all these efforts came through the hard working and the steering views” of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and the minister of interior.

According to the statement, Stock welcomed Attallah and praised “the level that the Palestinian Civil Police has reached,” adding that the Palestinian request to join Interpol will be discussed at the upcoming Interpol General Assembly next month in Beijing.

At the end of the meeting, Attallah thanked Stock for his “efforts to develop Interpol and to enhance the level of international (security) cooperation." 

Last year, Palestine’s attempt to push for Interpol membership was rejected in a vote at the body's congress in Indonesia, with Israel saying at the time that it had convinced a majority of Interpol members to vote against the Palestinians.

Sixty-two delegates at the meeting voted against the Palestinian request, while 56 voted in favor and 37 abstained at the time. 

Israel has routinely criticized Palestinian efforts to join international bodies, such as Interpol and the United Nations, accusing Palestinian officials of attempting to gain statehood recognition in indirect ways. 

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