USA threatens sanctions against ICC

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem

The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday, citing the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel.

On Monday, Bolton said the USA would resort to any means to protect its citizens and its allies against actions before the worldwide war crimes body, including arresting its judges if they sought to charge Americans who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

The United States is not a member of the worldwide tribunal that is based in the Netherlands, but American citizens can still face prosecution if they commit war crimes in one of the court's member states, which includes Afghanistan.

Ms. Bensouda submitted a formal request to start an investigation based upon a 2016 ICC report that found that us armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency might have committed war crimes by allegedly torturing detainees.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas halted ties with the Trump administration in December after the USA recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Bolton's comments reinforced an earlier statement by the US Department of State which announced the closure of the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Washington.

We will let the ICC die on its own. Their leadership has already roundly rejected those moves, saying the USA has lost its role as a peacemaker because of it.

The speech came as the United States took a related action by shutting down the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in DC.

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.

That includes a push to have the International Criminal Court investigate Israel for possible war crimes against the Palestinian people.

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"Such a reckless act confirms that the administration is blindly executing Israel's 'wish list, ' which starts with shutting down Palestinian diplomatic representation in the USA", he said in a statement. "The U.S. would do better to finally understand that the Palestinians will not surrender, and that no amount of coercion or unwarranted collective punitive measures will bring the Palestinian leadership or people to their knees".

"We will not co-operate with the ICC".

Bolton reportedly threatened to ban ICC judges and prosecutors from the USA and to impose sanctions on any funds they might have in the US financial system.

Bolton said the USA would "not sit quietly" if the ICC came after it, Israel or other US allies. We will not join the ICC.

"The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel", he is planned to add.

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

Germany's foreign ministry said on Twitter that "we are committed to the work of the ICC - in particular when it comes under fire".

The ICC was established by a United Nations treaty in 2002, and has been ratified by 123 countries, including the UK. However, some of the alleged ill-treatment continued until 2014, well into the presidency of Barack Obama.

"It is really a unsafe escalation to show that the United States is willing to disband the global system in order to protect Israeli crimes", Dajani said.

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