Palestinians Join Geneva Conventions

Both the United Nations and government of Switzerland have accepted the Palestinian Authority’s request to join international conventions and treaties. Swiss Foreign Ministry Spokesman Pierre-Alin Eltschinger confirmed the acceptance Thursday afternoon.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepted 13 applications to join conventions stating on Thursday that the Palestinians bid are “in due and proper form”. A spokesman for the UN reported that 193 UN member states have been informed of the Secretary General’s acceptance.

The treaties reportedly include the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Convention Against Torture, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Palestinian Authority officially singed up to the Geneva Conventions following a fall-out in peace talks with Israel at the beginning of April, refusing Israel’s proposal to extend peace talks, violating a previous pledge as part of negotiations to not seek membership in UN and international organizations.

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas threatened Israel with a 24-hour ultimatum to release the fourth phase of Palestinian prisoners, then signing 15 requests to treaties and international organizations for recognition of a Palestinian State on April 1.

It is the first time in 25 years that the Palestinians have made a bid for membership under the claim of occupation. The first attempt was carried out by the Palestine Liberation Organization in June of 1989, the bid refused.

The Palestinians have claimed Israel violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, under grounds as an occupying power and violation of protection of citizens.

A Palestinian diplomat stated that 13 of the 15 conventions will be approved officially on May the 2nd, and that the Palestinian Authority is prepared to sign more in attempt to gain further recognition internationally, if peace talks fail.

Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a ban on high level contacts with Palestinian officials, the prime minister clear on the Palestinian’s violation as detrimental to negotiations. Netanyahu warned following the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic move that the bid “significantly violated the agreements that were achieved. The threats to turn to the UN do not affect us. The Palestinians have plenty to lose in a unilateral step.”


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