Expert: Palestinian Acceptance To INTERPOL Operational Blow to Israel

by Mara Vigevani

The vote Wednesday by the international police organisation Interpol to accept the ‘State of Palestine’ as a full member is not just a diplomatic blow to Israel, but also has significant operational ramifications, Asher Ben Artzi, the former director of the Israel Police’s Interpol & International Operations department told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“Being part of an organization like Interpol means being part of a very sensitive system of information and international intelligence,” Ben Artzi said. “Today the Palestinian Authority was defined by the Secretariat as a State. Each state member can easily submit a Red Notice which means that all other member states are required to arrest at their borders a person who is the subject of a Red Notice. The state that made the arrest will check only later the reasons for the Red notice and only then will it decide whether or not to continue the legal process.”

This, in theory, means that the Palestinian Authority could issue a Red Notice against IDF soldiers and other security force personnel, Ben Artzi explains.

“They now have the right to decide that any Israeli soldier or citizen did illegal things in the Palestinian Authority and to send to all Interpol members a Red Notice. Later on they will have to send the evidence. The state that makes the arrest will have to decide if the Red Notice is backed up by sufficient proof or not.”

Ben Artzi added that admission to Interpol would also give the PA access to its information portal 24/7 that will allow it to see intelligence provided to Interpol by the Israel Police. This he said would make it far more difficult for Israel to cooperate with other states through Interpol as it will not want to share that information with the Palestinians. “Presently, intelligence information is routinely shared with many states, including Arab states, through the system. Now it will be more difficult to cooperate with other states,” Ben Artzi said.

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