Palestinians Slam Trump Decision to Close US Mission

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"We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the court's sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute", says Bolton's draft text.

The ICC is considering opening an investigation into alleged war crimes by American troops and intelligence officials during the war in Afghanistan, as the 17th anniversary of the USA invasion approaches.

In a statement, PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said the U.S. was now taking aim at top Palestinian representation, one that has always been the body to negotiate with the Israelis over any peace agreement.

"We will take note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of the United States and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation when setting USA foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels", he said.

The United States will negotiate agreements with countries to prohibit them from surrendering a US citizen to the ICC, Bolton said.

The Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is now set to close.

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said the move was "yet another affirmation of the Trump administration's policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education".

The announcement included a warning to the International Criminal Court saying that "this decision is also consistent with the administration and Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court".

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Israel welcomed Bolton's statement and alleged that the Palestinians were trying to circumvent the US-sponsored bilateral negotiations by seeking the court's intervention.

The US administration has said it's trying a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after decades of failed peace talks, chipping away at the Palestinians' key issues as it reshapes US policy. The Palestinians accused the administration of dismantling decades of US engagement with them.

"At President Bush's direction, we next launched a global diplomatic campaign to protect Americans from being delivered into the ICC's hands". Former President Bill Clinton signed the convention in 2000, but it was never presented to Congress for ratification and former President George W. Bush unsigned the statute in 2002.

A day after United States national security adviser John Bolton slammed the International Criminal Court as "illegitimate," the Palestinians on Tuesday filed a war crimes claim against Israel with the body over the expected demolition of a West Bank village. And we certainly will not join the ICC.

Most of its cases have involved crimes in Africa, a point Bolton seized on when he said that "despite ongoing ICC investigations, atrocities continue to occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Libya, Syria, and many other nations". The Palestinians want to use the ICC because it's the only high-profile multilateral organization which they can use to harass Israel, and the ICC is apparently sympathetic to their publicity efforts.

"W$3 e will remember that cooperation when setting USA foreign assistance, military assistance and intelligence-sharing levels", Bolton said. There is potential for the U.S. to sanction judges, prosecutors and those who cooperate with such a probe.

The Trump administration announced Monday that it will close the main office for the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C.

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