Bolton: International Criminal Court 'illegitimate,' 'dangerous'

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Trump's national security advisor John Bolton is expected to announce the closure in a speech Monday, along with the U.S. government's plans to impose sanctions on the ICC if it proceeds with investigations against the United States or Israel, The Washington Post reported, citing an advanced copy of Bolton's speech.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, is to make the announcement in a midday speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative group, in Washington, in which he will express deep hostility to the world body, by telling the organisation that it is "dead to [us]".

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Monday the U.S. would refuse to cooperate "in any way" with the tribunal if it carries out a prospective investigation into allegations of war crimes by U.S. military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan.

As US National Security Advisor John Bolton said the ICC is "dead to us" in response to a probe into US war crimes in Afghanistan, global criminal lawyer Christopher Black told RT that American hypocrisy is clearly "without limits". In particular, it says the ICC lacks jurisdiction because Israel is not a member of the court.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC".

In addition, the United States may negotiate more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering Americans to the court, says the text.

The closure of the PLO office was the latest in a series of moves targeting the Palestinians.

That decision drew universal condemnation from Arab leaders and criticism around the world, while Palestinian leaders, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, said the USA had taken itself "off the table" as a peace mediator. George W. Bush formally renounced any USA obligations to the court when it began operating in 2002.

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The court investigates and brings to justice people responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, intervening when national authorities can not or will not prosecute.

FILE - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (L) is seen at the trial of Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda at the ICC in the Hague, the Netherlands, Aug. 28, 2018. Similar measures would be taken against any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans, he said.

Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO mission in Washington, called the closure of the office "bullying and blackmailing" and said the U.S. government was "blindly executing Israel's 'wish list'".

"Such a reckless act confirms that the administration is blindly executing Israel's 'wish list, ' which starts with shutting down Palestinian diplomatic representation in the USA", he said in a statement.

But an official of the Palestinian Liberation Organization said they were being blackmailed by a White House blatantly biased in favor of Israel and called the move a "dangerous escalation" of tensions in the region.

The ICC said it had the support of 123 member states, adding in a statement: "The ICC, as a judicial institution, acts strictly within the legal framework of the Rome Statute and is committed to the independent and impartial exercise of its mandate". Barack Obama announced a policy of cooperation with the I.C.C.as an observer nation. Abdallah Abu Rahmeh said the white shipping containers, one with a Palestinian flag, were a message to Israel that "it's our right to build on our land".

The Palestine Liberation Organization office served as an embassy in Washington, D.C., for Palestinians.

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