Media: Netanyahu asked Biden not to lift Trump-imposed sanctions against ICC

According to the Axios portal, Israeli authorities are concerned about possible obstacles that the lifting of restrictions could create as part of efforts to “end the investigation into potential war crimes” against the country

Media: Netanyahu asked Biden not to lift Trump-imposed sanctions against ICC

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked US President Joe Biden to maintain the sanctions imposed on the International Criminal Court (ICC) under former White House chief Donald Trump’s administration. The Israeli leader asked for this, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing sources, during a phone conversation with Biden last week.

Israeli officials were concerned about possible obstacles that the lifting of restrictions could create as part of Israel’s efforts “to end investigations into potential war crimes” against the country, the paper explained. Reuters reported in January, citing the State Department, that the current US authorities intended to scrutinise sanctions imposed by the previous Washington administration on ICC officials.

The ICC prosecutor’s office had been conducting a preliminary probe into the situation in Palestine since 16 January 2015. In May 2018, Palestine sent a request to the prosecutor’s office to investigate the situation. The document included a request to investigate crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in the State of Palestine since 13 June 2014.

On 20 December 2019, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that following Palestine’s request, “the prosecutor’s office has completed its preliminary examination and concluded that the situation satisfies all the criteria of the Rome Statute to open a full investigation” into Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories. She added that she had every reason to believe that war crimes had been committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

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