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He added that the Palestine Liberation Organisation's (PLO) office in Washington was being ordered closed out of concern about Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel.

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and prosecute judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

The court is now considering prosecuting USA servicemen over alleged detainee abuse in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a Federalist Society event at the Mayflower Hotel this morning, Bolton slammed the Hague-based ICC as an effort by "self-styled "global governance" advocates" to override national sovereignty through its investigations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

"We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans", he said.

Judges and prosecutors with the International Criminal Court (ICC) would be barred from entering the U.S. and their funds in the United States would be sanctioned.

In a speech Monday, John Bolton said Washington would not cooperate with The Hague-based court and threatened it with sanctions, saying it put USA sovereignty and national security at risk. It also stressed that it would only investigate and prosecute crimes when the states will not or can not do so.

The speech continued with Bolton describing the ICC as an "illegitimate" investigative body that failed to adequately prosecute illegal activity overseas despite its "dangerous" levels of unchecked accountability.

The national security adviser's announcement drew applause from the conservative crowd but was sharply criticised by Palestinian leaders and officials. "And we certainly will not join the ICC", he said.

The latest submission came a day after the U.S. confirmed it would close the PLO's office in Washington, the highest Palestinian representation in the country, amid worsening relations between the two.

Erekat, in his statement, said the Palestinians would press forward to get their case heard at the ICC.

The Palestinian ambassador to South Africa Hashem Dajani said his government views the United States administration's decision to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) offices in Washington as a "threat".

The U.S. government has traditionally positioned itself as a neutral party in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel", national security adviser John Bolton planned to say in a speech he is scheduled to deliver Monday, according a draft of his prepared remarks reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The United States and Israel are not. He warned the ICC, which the U.S. hasn't joined, that it could face penalties if it "comes after us, Israel or other United States allies".

Bolton added that US officials will work with the United Nations Security Council to limit the court's sweeping powers.

Israel welcomed the Trump administration's move and accused the Palestinians of seeing the court as a way of sidestepping US-sponsored bilateral talks.

To those of you who spent the holiday in shul, away from your mass media, The Trump administration on Monday announced it is closing the PLO office in Washington, DC, cutting off the Palestinian Authority's ability to maintain its diplomatic mission to the US.

Now the pendulum is swinging back with a vengeance, as Bolton labeled the court "illegitimate" and "dead to us". The Palestinian Authority (PA) opened a PLO mission in Washington in 1994, after signing the Oslo I Accord peace agreement with Israel in 1993.


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