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Western envoys warn ICC its future is at risk over probe of Israel, Palestinians

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04.03.2021

Unnamed Western diplomats reportedly warned Thursday that the International Criminal Court’s decision to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinians could endanger the future of the Hague-based legal body.

The anonymous officials told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster that there have been growing concerns within the diplomatic community of the alleged increasing politicization of the court and its investigations, and that officials in The Hague have been told of the worries.

The probe will deal with the armed conflict of the summer of 2014, but notably excludes any investigation of the murder of three Israeli teenagers by Palestinian terrorists that started the escalation.

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Furthermore, the diplomats said that the United States had been willing to reconsider its opposition to the court and the sanctions put in place in 2019 by then-US president Donald Trump, but that Wednesday’s announcement could influence such a decision being made by the current administration of Joe Biden.

A US State Department spokesman said Wednesday that the administration “firmly” opposes the court’s decision, but is still weighing whether to maintain sanctions against the body imposed by the Trump administration. Chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda at the opening of the court’s judicial year with a Special Session at the seat of the court in The Hague, January 23, 2020. (courtesy ICC)

Like Israel, the US is 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 and the American military.

In 2019, Trump imposed economic sanctions and visa travel restrictions against chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as well as one of her aides.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Wednesday that Washington........

© The Times of Israel


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