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Trump Orders Sanctions against ICC Over Afghanistan Probe
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (left) congratulates US President Donald Trump after the latter unveils his Middle East peace plan at the White House on January 28. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

Trump Orders Sanctions against ICC Over Afghanistan Probe

US President Donald Trump has announced new sanctions on members of the International Criminal Court at the Hague who are conducting a preliminary probe into alleged war crimes committed by American military personnel in Afghanistan. In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany contended that the inquiry constituted “an attack on the rights of the American people and threaten[ed] to infringe upon our national sovereignty.” She also accused the ICC of being an “ineffective international bureaucracy that targets the United States… [and its] allies,” including Israel. In this respect, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week warned of “consequences” if the court opened a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Israeli military and Gaza Strip-based Hamas during the 2014 war. The ICC would also likely rule on the legality of Jewish communities located in the West Bank. Neither Washington nor Jerusalem are parties to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding charter, and thus both argue that the body has no jurisdiction to investigate purported crimes committed by either Americans or Israelis.

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