US to close Palestine mission in Washington

Trump administration to threaten ICC judges with sanctions, prosecution

John Bolton to Threaten Sanctions if International Criminal Court Investigates U.S. - Hit & Run :

He also warned that the Trump administration could ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the USA, sanction their funds and prosecute them in American courts.

The court angered the U.S. by revealing it wanted to investigate American servicemen over alleged detainee abuse in Afghanistan. More than 120 countries are members, however, the U.S., Russian Federation and China never signed onto the court - with then-President George W. Bush opposed to its establishment.

A statement Tuesday from The Hague based court said, "The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law".

"The US threats against the ICC (are) a coup against the rules-based global system", Erekat. The ICC was established in 2002 by the Rome Statute, but that treaty was never ratified by the U.S.

Washington's decision is the latest move by US President Donald Trump's administration to close and defund pro-Palestinian institutions.

"The US administration has begun to attack the rights of the Palestinian people and global law", Maliki said at a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo, convened to discuss the issue, according to Reuters. "Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes".

Donald Trump's administration has closed the Palestinian mission in the United States after accusing it of failing to pursue peace with Israel.

It was a predictable step for an "America First" administration that does not acknowledge global institutions, treaties, or norms as reflecting USA values or interests.

A 2016 report from the ICC said there was a reasonable basis to believe the USA military had committed torture at secret detention sites in Afghanistan operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, and that the Afghan government and the Taliban had committed war crimes.

The United States will enact a similar punishment on any company or state that assists the ICC.

Mr. Abbas's call for an investigation of Israel by the ICC was consciously provocative, and the PLO's Washington office would have known that. "And we certainly will not join the ICC", he said.

The national security adviser outlined a list of harsh retaliatory measures if the ICC decides to pursue prosecution: Court personnel would be banned from traveling to the United States, slapped with financial sanctions, and prosecuted by the Justice Department. "We will not allow the ICC or any other organisation to constrain Israel's right to self-defence", Bolton said.

"W$3 e will remember that cooperation when setting US foreign assistance, military assistance and intelligence-sharing levels", Bolton said.

The Rome statute that created the ICC was signed by the Clinton administration but it had concerns about the scope of the court's jurisdiction. Over the weekend, it announced it would cut $25 million in assistance for hospitals in east Jerusalem that provide critical care to Palestinian patients. President Barack Obama sought to develop co-operation with the ICC.

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement: "This unsafe escalation shows that the USA is willing to disband the global system in order to protect Israeli crimes and attacks against the land and people of Palestine, as well as against peace and security in the rest of our region".

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