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Pompeo Hints at US Sanctions Against ICC

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has hinted that the US will impose sanctions against the International Criminal Court at The Hague as early as week’s end. “You’ll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, from all across the United States government, that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to,” the top American diplomat was quoted by media as saying. “We are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC,” Pompeo added. Notably, the Trump Administration previously banned the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, from traveling to the US. That decision was made after the ICC announced a potential probe into the alleged torture of prisoners by US troops in Afghanistan. Pompeo’s statements come on the backdrop Bensouda’s parallel push to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel 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.