Washington (QNN)- Responding to the Biden administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court’s to open a formal Israeli war crimes probe in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Wednesday defended the probe while reminding the administration that “no one is above the law.”
In response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks expressing firm opposition to such a probe, Tlaib defended the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to launch a probe into war crimes in the OPT.
The ICC “has the authority and duty to independently and impartially investigate and deliver justice to victims of human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine and Israel,” Tlaib tweeted
“The U.S. should not interfere with its ability to do so,” she insisted.
No one is above the law.
The @IntlCrimCourt has the authority and duty to independently & impartially investigate and deliver justice to victims of human rights violations and war crimes in Palestine and Israel. The U.S. should not interfere with its ability to do so. https://t.co/HgTvbDA9u5
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 4, 2021
Blinken expressed the US’s firm opposition to the ICC’s decision, saying it has “no jurisdiction over this matter.”
He also said, “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.”
Blinken also stressed that the Palestinians don’t qualify as a sovereign state and therefore cannot participate in the ICC.
He stressed that the US remains “deeply committed to ensuring justice and accountability for international atrocity crimes” and recognizes “the role that international tribunals such as the ICC can play—within their respective mandates—in the pursuit of those important objectives.”
“Moreover, the United States believes a peaceful, secure and more prosperous future for the people of the Middle East depends on building bridges and creating new avenues for dialogue and exchange, not unilateral judicial actions that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution,” added Blinken.
“We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.”
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda said on Wednesday that she launched a formal probe into war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the Referral of the Situation to my Office,” she added.
‘Israel’ is not a member of the ICC and neither is the US. The Palestinians joined the court in 2015.
Last year, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against ICC officials, including revoking chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s entry visa, in response to the court’s attempts to prosecute American troops for actions in Afghanistan.