U.S. says ICC ‘dead’ as it moves to ‘protect’ Israel

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President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton (C), is reported to be planning to warn the U.S. "will fight back" if the International Criminal Court formally proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged United States war crimes in Afghanistan.

U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, will make the announcement in a speech at midday on Monday to the Federalist Society, a conservative group, in Washington.

Bolton's speech comes after the ICC in November 2017 the ICC prosecutor asked to investigate crimes allegedly committed by members of the USA military who served in Afghanistan.

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge Americans or Israelis with war crimes.

But while the U.S. is finally being put under a microscope by the ICC, its motivation to do so came only after "disastrous blows to the court" surrounding its prestige and credibility, after African countries threatened to withdraw from the ICC previous year, Black said. "And we certainly will not join the ICC", he said.

Bolton remained firm that the only institution United States recognised was its constitution and will not allow ICC to interfere with its affairs or those of her allies. "The ICC is already dead to us". He also said the USA would consider restrictions against ICC lawyers or officials involved in efforts to investigate Americans.

"President Donald Trump is closing the Palestine Liberation Organization's mission in Washington, the latest USA blow against the Palestinians and an global court during the stalled Mideast peace process", writes the Associated Press. The office closure is in retaliation to the PLO's call for an ICC inquiry into Israeli actions, The Guardian reports.

The court added that it believes that US authorities ultimately ended the torture of detainees, which is why most of the alleged abuses happened in 2003 and 2004 when George W. Bush was commander-in-chief.

The court was established in 2002 to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

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National Security Adviser John Bolton called the court "illegitimate" and vowed the United States would do everything "to protect our citizens". "We will take note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of the USA and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation".

He added that the PLO had also asked the ICC's prosecutor to speed up a preliminary probe into other alleged Israeli war crimes.

The Trump administration ordered a Palestinian representative office to close today, ending the near 25-year diplomatic presence of the PLO Mission in Washington DC.

Israel welcomed Bolton's statement and alleged that the Palestinians were trying to circumvent the US-sponsored bilateral negotiations by seeking the court's intervention.

Trump also recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there, from Tel Aviv.

A statement Tuesday from The Hague based court said, "The ICC, as a court of law, will continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law".

Under the administration of President Barack Obama, Washington cooperated more with the court.

"This law, which enjoyed broad bipartisan support, authorizes the president to use all means necessary and appropriate, including force, to shield our service members and the armed forces of our allies from ICC prosecution".

The Palestinians accuse the administration of dismantling decades of USA engagement with them by blatantly siding with Israel. The speech came as the U.S. took a related action by shutting down the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in DC.

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