Monday, 24 September, 2018

Article image Israel hails US decision to shut Palestinian mission

ICC is dead to us’ US to use ‘any means’ to shield citizens & allies from war crime probes Jerry Lampen Reuters
| 13 September, 2018, 17:03

Trump's decision has left UNRWA trying to cover a $200 million shortfall from Gulf and European donors, and has further strained tensions between Washington and the Palestinian leadership.

He said the USA would use "any means necessary" to protect Americans and citizens of allied countries, like Israel, "from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court".

"The Palestinians don't want to negotiate with us, and at the same time incite violence towards Israel", he added. "As such, and reflecting congressional concerns, the administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point".

Allegedly Bolton plans to announce that despite the decision, Trump is still committed to negotiating a peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians. "We are not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace".

Israel on Tuesday welcomed the USA administration's recent decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s office in Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hailed Trump for the decision to shutter the Washington PLO mission.


"The government regrets President Trump's administration taking this decision", government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said in a statement. "Israel supports the American actions that are meant to make it clear to the Palestinians that the refusal to negotiate and the attempts to attack Israel in global forums will not advance peace".

"The United States made the right decision to close the PLO offices", Netanyahu said.

The U.S. does not now recognize the Palestinian territories as an independent state, though the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a "non-member observer state".

Trump has promised to pursue the "ultimate deal" between the Palestinians and Israel. -Israeli ties, Washington had tried to position itself as a neutral party in the vexing Mideast conflict, willing to call out both sides when they take steps seen as contrary to the pursuit of peace.

Bolton listed a series of reprisals against the court, such as the ban on entry to the U.S. of its judges and prosecutors: "In addition, we will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system".

The draft speech says the Trump administration "will fight back" if the International Criminal Court formally proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by United States service members and intelligence professionals during the war in Afghanistan. "The American president is encouraging terror and extremism with his policies that could lead to violence in the region, which will explode in the faces of Israel and the United States".

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