The United States has warned the International Criminal Court against prosecution of US or Israeli officials for war crimes in the Middle East.
Announcing that it will not be cooperating with the ICC, the US vowed to use any means protect itself and its friend and ally Israel, from the judicial body.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who made the announcement on Monday, also threatened sanctions against the “unjust” court.
He called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the US, Israel and other allies saying that any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”
RT reports: John Bolton on Monday warned the ICC against continuing its investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan. If the international court continues to pursue the probe, Washington will ban ICC judges from entering the country, prosecute them and sanction their funds, the official said in a speech before the Federalist Society in Washington, DC.
We will ban ICC judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, sanction their funds in the United States financial system, and, prosecute them in the United States criminal system,” Bolton boomed.
All the US citizens, “operating in the service of the government” anywhere in the world, are subjects to the American justice system only, Bolton said. “On this Earth, we don’t recognize any authority higher than the US constitution.”
Bolton also ripped into the court’s threat to Washington’s “friend and ally” Israel as he referred to the investigation into alleged crimes against Palestinians. The probe into actions of such a “liberal, democratic nation” as Israel is unacceptable, Bolton said. Any countries supporting the investigation and cooperating with the ICC will be subject to secondary sanctions, Bolton warned. He promised to “take notes” of the countries cooperating with the ICC, warning that such behavior will affect their relations with the US and might result in slashing the US aid to such nations.
He then vowed to undertake action in the UN to bar the ICC from prosecuting nationals of any countries that did not ratify the statute of the international body.
Just ahead of Bolton’s speech on the ICC, the US announced its decision to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington. The move was condemned by the group as yet “another affirmation” of the US policy “to collectively punish the Palestinian people.” Despite the US pressure, Palestine vowed to continue its calls on the ICC to “open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.”
In May, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry asked the ICC to launch an inquiry into Israeli “crimes against humanity” and its illegal settlement policies. The alleged crimes of the Israeli government include forcible transfer, demolition of Palestinian homes and killing of peaceful protesters.