US President Donald Trump has escalated hostilities against the International Criminal Court (ICC) by authorizing new sanctions against prosecutors and officials of the intergovernmental organization.
Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to block ICC officials directly involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, according to The New York Times.
In addition to the investigation of possible war crimes in Afghanistan involving US troops, the ICC, based in the Hague, Netherlands, has also launched a probe into Israeli war crimes, including crimes against humanity.
Earlier this month, US Secretary Mike Pompeo doubled down on a previous promise to counter the ICC probe against Washington and Tel Aviv.
“I think that the ICC and the world will see that we are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC,” he told a podcast hosted by the right-wing American Enterprise Institute think tank.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also been scathing in his condemnation of the ICC denouncing the court of fabricating “outlandish charges” against his country and praised the US for standing up for what he called truth and justice.
The probe into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by American service members and intelligence officers include torture and rape by US forces in Afghanistan and at CIA interrogation facilities abroad, during the near two-decade campaign against the Taliban.
As for Israel, the Jewish State will be investigated for war crimes committed in Gaza and the West Bank, a prospect that has been met with threats and intimidation from Tel Aviv.
The ICC responded to the sanctions in a statement saying that it was “an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the court’s judicial proceedings.”
Source: The Palestine Chronicle