The US State Department says Palestine is not a sovereign state and therefore does not qualify to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“It doesn’t qualify to join the ICC,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday in Washington.
Earlier in the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed that Palestine will officially become a member of the ICC on April 1, opening the way for Palestinians to bring Israeli war criminals to justice.
Palestinian Authority (PA) officials delivered documents to the UN headquarters in New York to join the Rome Statute of the ICC and other international treaties.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began the process of joining the court at the end of last year after the UN Security Council rejected a Palestinian proposal for statehood.
Abbas signed the documents required for Palestine to join 20 international organizations, including the ICC, last week.