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Switzerland: PA bid to join Geneva Conventions okayed

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Itongadol.- Switzerland confirmed on Friday that it had accepted the Palestinian Authority\’s bid for accession to the Geneva Conventions, which provide the rules on the conduct for war and occupations.

Switzerland, the guardian of the treaties, formally registered the PA\’s declaration as party to the conventions on Thursday, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas signed a letter of accession for the "State of Palestine" to join the conventions on April 2, Eltschinger confirmed.

The Swiss announcement came as negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians teetered on the edge of collapse with Israel introducing new economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, according to what Israeli official said was a response to Abbas\’s move.

A senior Palestinian official told AFP that Abbas had received a letter confirming the registration from the Swiss president, lauding it as "an historic day for the Palestinian people."

On April 2, Abbas applied to join 15 international treaties and conventions, including the Geneva Conventions, following Israel\’s decision not to release a fourth and final batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners as Jerusalem had promised ahead of starting peace talks in July.

Alongside Israel\’s commitment to release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoner convicted before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinians pledged to refrain from its unilateral campaign seeking legitimacy from international bodies and conventions.

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