Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Bolton: ICC will face repercussions if action taken against Americans

Bolton: ICC will face repercussions if action taken against Americans

But in a statement, Nauert accused Palestinian leadership of condemning and not cooperating with the Trump administration's forthcoming peace plan, orchestrated by President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

It was a predictable step for an "America First" administration that does not acknowledge worldwide institutions, treaties, or norms as reflecting USA values or interests.

Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO General Delegation to the United States, described on Monday the decision as reckless: "We condemn in the strongest terms the USA administration's decision to close the Palestinian mission to the US".

The ICC is "antithetical" to USA ideals, said Bolton.

It's unclear when Kushner's team will unveil its peace plan, but it is expected sometime this fall.

The Trump administration is expected to announce Monday that it will close the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in Washington, administration officials said Sunday night, widening a USA campaign of pressure amid stalled Middle East peace efforts.

The ICC was established in 2002.

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The ICC, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a group of 120 nations committed to investigating and trying those charged with the "gravest crimes of concern to the worldwide community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression".

Bolton said the probe into the actions of Israel, which he described as a "liberal, democratic nation", was unacceptable, and added that any countries supporting the investigation and cooperating with the ICC would be subject to secondary sanctions.

Mr Bolton, who has been particularly vocal in his opposition to the court, attacked two areas of its work in a speech on Monday.

Mr Bolton said the objection of US President Donald Trump's administration is to the idea that the ICC could have higher authority than the US Constitution and US sovereignty.

"The ICC prosecutor has requested to investigate these Americans for alleged detainee abuse, and perhaps more - an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation", he said.

The U.S. government has traditionally positioned itself as a neutral party in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The statements by the State Department and Bolton come as the USA government has increased pressure on the Palestinians to get involved in peace efforts.

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The State Department on August 31 severed all funding to UNRWA, the agency responsible for providing millions of Palestinian refugees with education and healthcare, saying it would examine other approaches. The U.S. government supplies almost 30 percent of the budget for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency.

Last month, the USA cancelled more than $200m (£153m) in aid for projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

South Africa's department of worldwide relations did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publishing, but Dajani has called the closure of the PLO mission a "threat" by the U.S. government.

"Syrian officials also always tell us that they are against naturalizing Palestinian refugees", he said.

The U.S.is not a member of the ICC, but in the past it has endorsed individual inquiries on a case-by-case basis. Mario Ritter adapted the report for VOA Learning English.

"I'd say, 'You'll get money, but we're not paying you until we make a deal". Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

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