This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was met with criticism for his opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) announcement of its investigation into Israeli war crimes.
“The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” read a press statement issued by Blinken’s office on the matter, which was titled: “The United States Opposes the ICC Investigation into the Palestinian Situation.”
The United States firmly opposes an @IntlCrimCourt investigation into the Palestinian Situation. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 4, 2021
Civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), denounced the secretary’s statement, noting that the investigation was for war crimes in illegally occupied territories. They also took issue with Blinken’s characterization of Israel’s occupation as the “Palestine situation.”
After a five-year initial investigation, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated on Wednesday that the court has jurisdiction in the occupied Palestinian territories and would open an investigation.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) March 5, 2021
Even US Vice President Kamala Harris, in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, reaffirmed Washington’s opposition to an International Criminal Court (ICC) probe of possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestine was accepted into the United Nations General Assembly as a non-member observer state in 2015. That same year, it joined the ICC, which has jurisdiction over its 123 signatory countries, which do not include Israel and the United States. On February 5, the ICC concluded that they had jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)