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Israel’s Netanyahu hails US' sanctions on the ICC

June 15, 2020 at 9:46 am

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) after traveling abroad for the first time amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in West Jerusalem on 13 May 2020. [Kobi Gideon / GPO / Handout – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week hailed US President Donald Trump for imposing economic sanctions on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials, Israeli media reported.

Trump last week authorised new sanctions against prosecutors and officials who are involved in investigating American troops and intelligence officials involved in possible war crimes in Afghanistan and Israel’s possible crimes against Palestinians.

Netanyahu said that investigating American troops is similar to investigating Israeli soldiers, stating that the sanctions imposed on the ICC showed the US president was a friend of Israel.

“I would like to thank President Trump and the Secretary of State Pompeo for their decision to sanction the International Court in The Hague,” Netanyahu said.

The ICC “is politicised and obsessed with carrying out a headhunt against Israel and the United States as well as other democratic countries that respect human rights, but turns a blind eye to the world’s worst human rights offenders, including the terrorist regime in Iran,” he added.

READ: ICC will continue investigating Israel’s war crimes despite Oslo Accords 

Israeli MK and former Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, also welcomed the US decision, writing on Twitter: “The International Criminal Court is being misused by the Palestinians and others to pursue political campaigns against democracies, while distorting international law.”

Last month, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stressed that “misinformation and smear campaigns do not change facts about the conduct of my Office’s work concerning the situation in Palestine.”

“Fact: my office is executing its mandate concerning Palestine situation with utmost professionalism, independence & objectivity in strict conformity with the Rome Statute. Any insinuation or assertion to the contrary is simply misled & unfounded.”