Trump says Israelis should be immune from International Criminal Court
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Trump says Israelis should be immune from International Criminal Court

Friday statement marks the second time US administration explicitly vows to protect citizens of Israel from prosecution

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump delivers remarks during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration again named Israelis along with Americans as deserving immunity from International Criminal Court prosecution.

In a statement Friday, President Donald Trump declared victory after the ICC rejected a request to investigate US personnel for actions in Afghanistan.

“Since the creation of the ICC, the United States has consistently declined to join the court because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers; the threat it poses to American national sovereignty; and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate,” the White House said in a statement it attributed to Trump. “Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response.”

It’s the second time that the Trump administration has extended its vow to protect allies from the court explicitly to Israelis. Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ICC officials who prosecute Americans or Israelis would be denied entry into the United States.

The ICC is known to be considering whether to act on a request by the Palestinian Authority to investigate Israeli officials for war crimes. Like the United States, Israel is not a member of the court and thus its citizens are susceptible to court action only if they are in countries that belong to the ICC.

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