Palestinians can join Geneva treaties, Swiss say

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas authorized the signing of letters of accession to several international conventions.

The Palestinians can join the Geneva Conventions, the international rules of war that also cover occupations, the Associated Press reported the Swiss government as saying on Friday.

Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry, as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, said Friday that “the state of Palestine” acceded to the conventions, effective April 2.

The Palestinians signed letters of accession to several international conventions after Israel failed to carry out a planned prisoner release by the March deadline.

The Swiss statement comes after the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted Palestinian applications to join 13 other conventions on Thursday.