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US attacks ICC over insistence on probing Israel crimes against Palestinians

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo makes a speech during the 56th Munich Security Conference at Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, Germany on 15 February 2020. [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Munich, Germany on 15 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday slammed the International Criminal Court (ICC) insisting that it is not qualified to probe possible Israeli crimes against Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Pompeo insisted that Palestine is not a sovereign state, so it is not qualified to file a complaint to the ICC against continuous violations and crimes, saying that the ICC's possible investigation into Israeli crimes is "illegitimate".

"The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution," Pompeo said in a statement.

"This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor's attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court," he added.

"As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and they therefore are not qualified to obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organisations, entities or conferences, including the ICC," Pompeo explained.

"The United States reiterates its longstanding objection to any illegitimate ICC investigations. If the ICC continues down its current course, we will exact consequences," Pompeo, who visited Israel two days before delivering his statement, threatened.

READ: What you need to know about the ICC Investigation of war crimes in occupied Palestine

Asia & AmericasICCInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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