US threatens sanctions on ICC, prosecution of officials

Palestinians reject Trump bid to force talks through aid cut

On Monday, John Bolton, national security adviser to Trump, attacked the ICC, threatening to sanction judges and other officials if they moved against USA soldiers or those of key allies.

This comes after an ICC prosecutor asked to investigate alleged crimes committed by members of the USA military who served in Afghanistan, CBS reports.

Bolton said the Trump administration "will fight back" if the ICC proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by USA service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan.

A provision in a USA law says the PLO mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

The ICC was formally established in 2002, although then-President George W. Bush authorized the U.S.to "un-sign" the Rome Statute and the Senate never ratified it. Bolton suggested the ICC was created to attack US leadership, not to truly hold egregious global criminals accountable.

Akwei said the US should sign the Rome agreement creating the court and "support, not impede, its investigations".

The US has threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it goes ahead with prosecutions against Americans.

"Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes". "We will do the same for any company or state that assists in ICC investigation of Americans". She said the Taliban and its affiliated Haqqani network, as well as the Afghan National Security Forces, would also be investigated.

The tribunal's remarks came in response to a scathing verbal attack launched by Bolton in Washington DC on Monday during a speech to the conservative Federalist Society. "And we certainly will not join the ICC", he said.

They deemed the planned PLO mission closure a new pressure tactic by a Trump administration that has slashed funding to a United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees and to hospitals in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as capital of a future state.

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The Palestinian ambassador to South Africa Hashem Dajani said his government views the United States administration's decision to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) offices in Washington as a "threat".

The US signed the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court in 2002 but never ratified it.

In a news release, senior Palestinian diplomat Dr. Saeb Erekat called this move "dangerous escalation" that "shows that the U.S.is willing to disband the worldwide 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".

In a further show of support, the court's overseeing body said it received "strong cooperation and backing" from its 123 member states as well as from other states, global organisations and civil society.

"There's nothing we have in our back pocket that says, 'Well, Israel, you've got to give up X, Y and Z because the embassy was moved, '" he told the newspaper.

Bolton, who worked in the Bush administration, helped to lead the USA diplomatic opposition to the court.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hailed the United States for closing the Palestine Liberation Organisation mission in Washington.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the United States would do everything "to protect our citizens". The U.S. government supplies almost 30 percent of the budget for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency.

According to Al Jazeera, he also claimed the move would let Israel continue 'their policies against the Palestinian people and land'.

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