U.S. State Department has “firmly” opposed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinians, and is still considering whether to continue imposing sanctions introduced by the Trump administration against the body, the U.S. State Department spokesperson said Wednesday, March 3.
“The United States firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision,” said the U.S. State Department in a note..
“The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. The Palestinians do not qualify as a sovereign state and therefore, are not qualified to obtain membership as a state in, participate as a state in, or delegate jurisdiction to the ICC” it added.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken later echoed these statements in a tweet.
It is worth pointing out that the U.S. is not a member of the ICC. In 2019, Trump administration imposed a series of economic sanctions and visa travel restrictions against chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who made Wednesday’s announcement as well as one of her aides.
The U.S. State Department concluded the statment by sayng that the U.S. “believes a peaceful, secure and more prosperous future for the people of the Middle East depends on building bridges and creating new avenues for dialogue and exchange, not unilateral judicial actions that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly”.