Israel PM hails US decision to close Palestinian mission

Israel PM hails US decision to close Palestinian mission

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

It quoted him the draft text as saying the Trump administration "will fight back" if the ICC formally proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump's administration also ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in Washington for its attempt to move the court against its ally, Israel.

Among other potential repercussions, Bolton threatened to pursue sanctions against ICC officials if the court moves forward with investigations into United States citizens.

The Hague-based ICC was set up in 2002 with a jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the world's worst crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"We will sanction their funds in the USA financial system, and we will prosecute them in the USA criminal system", the paper reported Bolton was planning to say.

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

The national security adviser's announcement drew applause from the crowd.

Bolton followed up in his address to The Federalist Society, a conservative, Washington-based think tank. That development comes after the White House said over the weekend it was cutting $25 million in funding for health services in the heavily Palestinian East Jerusalem.

Bolton said the United States would "take note" of other countries' cooperation with the ICC and "will remember that cooperation when settling United States foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels".

Palestinian leaders confirmed they'd been informed by the Trump administration that it plans to shut the Palestinian mission in Washington, condemning the move as proof the U.S.is disbanding worldwide efforts toward a peace deal with Israel.

More news: Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4, takes aim at Carolinas

The court added that it believes that USA authorities ultimately ended the torture of detainees, which is why most of the alleged abuses happened in 2003 and 2004 when George W. Bush was commander-in-chief.

Palestinians have reacted with dismay to the US funding cuts, warning they could lead to more poverty and anger, which are among the factors stoking their decades of conflict with Israel.

On Monday, National Security Adviser John Bolton called the court "illegitimate" and vowed to do everything "to protect our citizens".

Husam Zomlot, until recently posted to DC as the Palestinian envoy, said the closure would not deter Palestinians from seeking a state with East Jerusalem as the capital. And Bolton added, "We will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel's right to self-defense", per the Wall Street Journal. We certainly will not join the ICC.

Australia signed a treaty in 2002 ratifying its membership of the court.

"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 said.

The United States will negotiate agreements with countries to prohibit them from surrendering a USA citizen to the ICC, Bolton said.

The Trump Administration is blowing the whistle on the Palestine Liberation Organization, and it would be hard to identify a more overdue reality check in USA foreign policy.

The move comes just nine months after Trump declared that the USA would now treat Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, defying global consensus on the holy city and a United Nations resolution.

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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