The Palestinian Authority has signed up formally to thePalestine Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties’ guardian Switzerland confirmed Friday.
Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger told AFP that the Palestinian Authority had declared itself party to the conventions on April 2.
This was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday, he added.
The step is part of a new diplomatic drive by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, coming as peace talks with ‘Israel’ are close to collapse.
Abbas said he had received a letter from the Swiss president confirming the registration, and praised it as “an historic day for the Palestinian people”, a senior Palestinian official said.
The Palestinians had pledged to freeze all moves to seek membership in UN organizations and international conventions — a stepping stone to recognition of their hoped-for state — during the talks in return for Israel’s release of veteran Arab prisoners.