PA denounces US sanctions on ICC

PA “foreign ministry” denounces US threats against ICC after Trump imposes sanctions on the Court's employees.

Tags: Sanctions ICC PA
Elad Benari, Canada ,

The International Criminal Court building
The International Criminal Court building

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday denounced the US for imposing sanctions on employees of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement, the PA’s “foreign ministry” said the US move is “a grave escalation of threats and intimidation against the Court, which the US administration has been engaged in over the past three years. “

“These attempts to exercise undue influence over Court proceedings are entirely unacceptable and constitute a threat to the principles of international justice and the rules-based order as a whole. The threats made and measures undertaken by the United States Administration are even more unacceptable coming from a permanent member of the Security Council, a body which has the power to refer situations to the Court to ensure accountability for perpetrators of egregious crimes,” the statement added.

“We call for urgent measures in support of the Court to help it counter the illegal, provocative and dangerous measures adopted by the United States Administration, in line with the States Parties’ obligations under the Rome Statute, including to preserve the Court and its independence and to foster cooperation with it,” it continued.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order imposing sanctions on individuals involved in the ICC investigation into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

The order authorizes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to freeze assets of ICC officials involved in the investigation. In addition, Pompeo will be authorized to block these officials from entering the US.

President Trump also cited the ICC's war crimes investigations against Israel when signing the order.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, announced this past December that she intends to open a full investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes”, and recently ruled that “Palestine” is a state and the ICC has jurisdiction involving its cases.

In response to the US sanctions, ICC president O-Gon Kwon said they “are unprecedented. They undermine our common endeavor to fight impunity and to ensure accountability for mass atrocities. I deeply regret measures targeting Court officials, staff and their families.”

“I call upon the States Parties and all the stakeholders in the Rome Statute system to reiterate once more our relentless commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Statute and to preserve its integrity undeterred by any measures and threats against the Court and its officials, staff and their families,” he added.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)