The US and Israel had previously tried the Hague-based court for opening the door to an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on US President Joe Biden, following a report by Axios, not to lift the sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump on officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Biden administration had pledged to “thoroughly review” the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, which accused the Hague-based tribunal of violating US sovereignty, by conducting an investigation into suspected war crimes by the US Armed forces in Afghanistan approved.
Israel stepped up pressure on the ICC after ruling in early February that the court’s jurisdiction extended to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, paving the way for investigations into war crimes committed by Israelis and Palestinians, the report said.
Israel and the US quickly condemned 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, adding that it was reviewing the ruling.
Neither of the allies is a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, and both have tried to protect their citizens from prosecution.
However, Washington has assisted and worked with the court in a variety of forms since it came into operation in 2002.
The struggle for jurisdiction presented the Biden government with an early challenge that will once again advocate for multilateral organizations.
Meanwhile, Israel has reportedly urged the allies not to pressure ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, one of the officials currently under US sanctions, not to investigate Israelis.
On February 13, UK attorney Karim Khan was elected the next ICC prosecutor to replace Bensouda, who will retire in June. The 50-year-old Khan led a United Nations investigation into atrocities by the armed group ISIL (ISIS).
Axios reported that Israeli diplomats are urging US officials to maintain the sanctions as leverage and that the issue was also raised during a call between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Israeli counterpart Gabriel Ashkenazi.