By Middle East Affairs
On Wednesday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that Palestine has joined the global arms watchdog’s convention to stop the spread of chemical weapons.
Palestine joins the organization as the 193rd state, the OPCW announced that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sent a note of Palestine’s official accession papers, on June 16.
This is one of many actions that Palestine has taken in recent years to try to gain international recognition as a state.
Israel has tried to see that Palestine’s international efforts are thwarted, as it does not want to see the state that it occupies recognized.
After President Trump recognized Jeresulam as Israel’s capital in December, Palestine applied to join 22 international treaties, including 18 in the United Nations.
Some of the organizations that they seek entry to include Chemical Weapons Convention, the Geneva Protocol, Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on Nuclear Terrorism, and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.
Previously in 2014, Palestine in response to Israel’s slow release of Palestinian prisoners applied for 15 treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
At the time Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon allowed Palestine’s entry into 10 United Nation sponsored agreements.
The OPCW along with Interpol, the International Criminal Court and UNESCO treat Palestine as a state. In 2012, United Nations lifted Palestine’s status to a non-member observer state allowing it entry to international agreements, a move that Israel and the United States both opposed.
Entry into international organizations such as ICC allows Palestine to file compliments against Israel’s war crimes.
Israel has not ratified its entry into the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is one of only four states that do not seek to see a ban on chemical weapons. Egypt, North Korea, and South Sudan have not even signed into the convention, it is believed that all four non-signatories are in possession of chemical weapons. One of the reasons why Israel has not signed is because it refuses to allow OPCW inspectors entry to its military bases.
Since its creation 21 years ago, OPCW has been responsible for destroying 96% of its members stock of chemical weapons.
Palestine’s decision to join OPCW coincides with an official visit to the International Criminal Court, where Palestinians seek war crimes attributed to Israel for their killing of 62 Palestinians and injuring nearly 3000 in one day.