In the US, President Trump's national security adviser says the International Criminal Court is "illegitimate", and the US will no longer co-operate with it.
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 US campaign of pressure amid stalled Middle East peace efforts.
Tarasov/ZUMA Press/NewscomNational Security Advisor John Bolton will reportedly take a hardline stance today against the International Criminal Court (ICC), which investigates allegations of war crimes and genocide.
A provision in a USA law says the PLO mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. "We will not cooperate with the ICC". He promised to "take notes" of the countries cooperating with the ICC, warning that such behavior will affect their relations with the United States and might result in slashing the U.S. aid to such nations.
"I'd say, 'You'll get money, but we're not paying you until we make a deal". "The United States supports a direct and robust process, and we will not allow the ICC or any other organization to constrain Israel's right to self-defense".
The Trump administration says it is closing the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., effectively shuttering the Palestinian diplomatic mission to the U.S.
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"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel", it quoted Bolton's draft text as saying.
The PLO and the Palestinian Authority demanded that the ICC prosecute Israel and its leaders for crimes against the Palestinian people, and the ICC recently declared that it was "gathering information" on those complaints.
The PA has boycotted the Trump administration and rebuffed its peace efforts since the U.S. president's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December of a year ago.
In November, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there was a "reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan" since the US-led invasion in 2001.
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The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, with the boundaries negotiated in talks between the parties.
The Palestinians have embarked on what has been termed a "diplomatic intifada", asking the war crimes court to probe Israel for a range of worldwide human rights violations, including killing hundreds of civilians in the 2014 Gaza War and continued illegal settlement building in the West Bank. The moves are likely to harden Palestinian resistance to the USA role as a peace broker.
"In practice, however, the court has been ineffective, unaccountable, and indeed, outright risky", he said. It is a "dangerous escalation shows that the U.S.is willing to disband the worldwide system".
The PLO is a group in charge of the Palestinian people in the West Bank.
Israel welcomed the Trump administration's move and accused the Palestinians of seeing the court as a way of sidestepping US -sponsored bilateral talks. He said ICC judges and prosecutors would be banned from coming to the USA, their assets in US jurisdictions would be frozen and they would face prosecution.
National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Sept. 10, 2018.
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