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US opposes ICC probe into Israel, Palestinians; weighs maintaining sanctions

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The Biden administration “firmly” opposes the International Criminal Court’s decision to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinians, but is still weighing whether to maintain sanctions against the body imposed by the Trump administration, the US State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.

“We firmly oppose and are disappointed by the ICC prosecutor’s announcement of an investigation into the Palestinian situation,” said Ned Price at his daily press briefing.

“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and to its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,” he added, insisting that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the matter as Israel is not party to the Rome Statute. (The Palestinians have been since 2014.)

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Like Israel, the US is also not a member of the ICC and has found itself at odds with The Hague-based international court due to its ongoing probe into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan by Afghan forces, the Taliban as well as the American military. In 2019, US President Donald Trump imposed economic sanctions and visa travel restrictions against chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who made Wednesday’s announcement as well as one of her aides.

Asked whether the Biden administration would keep those sanctions in place, the State Department spokesman said, “much as we disagree with the........

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