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US threatens ICC with ‘consequences’ if it acts on war crimes complaint against Israel filed by ‘fake’ Palestinian state

Arguing that Palestine doesn’t “qualify as a sovereign state” and that the International Criminal Court lacks jurisdiction over Israel, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened “consequences” for any “illegitimate” probes.
US has insisted that the International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution. This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court.

Following his trip to Israel this week, Pompeo issued a brief statement, denouncing the ongoing efforts by the ICC to investigate allegations of war crimes against Palestinians, including the use of live ammunition against protesters, the demolition and shelling of civilian homes and infrastructure, and forcible relocations as part of Israel’s settlement projects in the occupied territories.

“The United States reiterates its longstanding objection to any illegitimate ICC investigations,” wrote Pompeo, blasting the ICC as “a political body, not a judicial institution,” and arguing that is has no “jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court.”

We do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.

While Palestine has yet to achieve fully recognized statehood, the quasi-governmental Palestinian Authority was accepted into the ICC in 2015. The US signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but it was never formally ratified by the Senate. Israel, too, was an early signer to the statute, but also never finalized its membership in the organization.


If the ICC continues down its current course, we will exact consequences.

Washington repeatedly threatened the ICC with sanctions in the past as the US itself also scrutiny in the investigation of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Afghan government forces, the Taliban, American troops and intelligence operatives.

Seven states that are party to the Rome Statute – Australia, Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Uganda – have made formal submissions to the Court that assert that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to proceed with this investigation. We concur. A court that attempts to exercise its power outside its jurisdiction is a political tool that makes a mockery of the law and due process.


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