The US is encouraging Israel to commit crimes by opposing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into alleged war crimes in Palestine, Hamas said Saturday.
“The attitude of the Washington administration encourages Israel to commit crimes against our people,” Hazem Qasim, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement.
The remarks came after the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo voiced opposition to the ICC probe into alleged Israeli war crimes committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
“This attitude makes the US a partner in attacks against our people,” Qasem added.
Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of ICC, said Friday there is reasonable basis to investigate alleged war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” she said in a statement, without naming Israel.
In an official statement on Saturday, Pompeo said: “We firmly oppose this and any other action that seeks to target Israel unfairly.”
The American top diplomat also said that Washington did not believe that Palestine qualifies as a “sovereign state”, hence it should not be able to “obtain full membership, or participate as a state in international organisations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC.”
“By taking this action, the Prosecutor expressly recognised that there are serious legal questions about the Court’s authority to proceed with an investigation,” he added.
Source: Middle East Monitor.