Despite Israeli and U.S. pressure to delay or suspend the vote, Interpol’s general assembly approved Palestine’s petition for full membership on 9/27, with 75 mbr. states in favor, 24 against, and 34 abstaining. PA PM Hamdallah lauded the decision as a “victory for the Palestinian people,” and the PA put out a statement saying, “The State of Palestine considers this membership and the responsibilities that it entails as an integral part of its responsibility towards the Palestinian people and a moral commitment to the citizens of the world.”
However, there were indications that the U.S., Israel, and their allies in the international community would still be able to obstruct Palestinian participation in the international police organization. U.S. sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Comm., said (9/27) that he was concerned that the Palestinians would be able to issue Interpol “red notices,” which function similarly to international arrest warrants. The U.S., Israel, and many other countries would not recognize the Palestinian red notices, according to Cardin. In a statement responding to Cardin, Interpol pointed out key differences between red notices and arrest warrants. The notices are merely meant as alerts to other countries, the statement said. They are nonbinding, and each mbr. has the authority to decide how to respond to them.