Wednesday, 26 September, 2018


United States to Threaten Sanctions if ICC Investigates Afghan War Crimes Allegations

Bennie Garza | 10 September, 2018, 21:04

The Trump Administration plans to adopt a hostile stance toward the International Criminal Court, possibly threatening sanctions if prosecutors proceed with an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by usa forces in Afghanistan, Reuters reports.

"The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court", Bolton is also expected to say, as Reuters reports.

Bolton's speech will also announce Washington's plans to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office over concerns that it is attempting to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel.

Responding to the Trump administration's reported plan to shutter a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington over Palestinians' attempts to investigate and prosecute Israelis for war crimes through the ICC, Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told Reuters, "We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to USA threats and bullying".

In late August the White House withdrew all funding from the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, describing its approach to handling the issue as "unsustainable" and the U.S. contribution as disproportionate.

"We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to U.S. threats and bullying", Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement.

The Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Palestinians would "continue to call upon the worldwide criminal court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes".

The Palestinian leadership ended contact with the current administration after President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. The planned address will be his first since joining the Trump White House.

Actions the USA could take include banning ICC judges and prosecutors from entering America.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC".

Bolton's speech outlined the Trump administration's opposition to the court.

In addition, the United States may negotiate more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering Americans to The Hague-based court, the text says. Bolton, who worked in the Bush administration, helped to lead the USA diplomatic opposition to the court. "Such policies are a matter of concern worldwide as they attest [to the fact] that the U.S. has joined Israel in blatantly violating the will of the global community and creating conditions for disorder and instability throughout the Middle East region and beyond".

Under President George W. Bush, the United States did not ratify the Rome Treaty that established the ICC in 2002. "If the court comes after us, Israel, or other allies, we will not sit quietly".

The move comes after several financial measures the Trump administration has taken toward the Palestinians.

"Afghans have been waiting decades for justice for war crimes, including some allegedly committed by USA forces", Heather Barr, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, wrote in response to the White House's plans.

The Palestine Liberation Organization is the group that formally represents all Palestinians.

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