Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged United States President Joe Biden not to lift sanctions imposed on International Criminal Court (ICC) officials by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to a report by Axios.
The Biden administration had pledged to “thoroughly review” the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, which had accused the Hague-based tribunal of infringing on US sovereignty by authorising an investigation into alleged war crimes by the US forces in Afghanistan.
Israel has increased pressure on the ICC following its ruling in early February that the court’s jurisdiction extends to the occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for it to open investigations into war crimes committed by both Israelis and Palestinians, according to the report.
Israel and the US were quick to condemn the court’s announcement, with Israel accusing the court of “pure anti-Semitism” and the US saying it had “serious concerns” about the court’s decision and adding that it was reviewing the ruling.
Neither ally is party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, and both have sought to shield their citizens from prosecution in the court.
Washington, however, has supported and engaged with the court in various forms since it began operations in 2002.