The US vice president and Israeli leader said the Hague court had no jurisdiction over the matter, with the prosecutor promising an impartial investigation.
US Vice President Kamala Harris, during an appeal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reaffirmed US opposition to an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into possible war crimes in the United States. Palestinian territories, said the White House.
The appeal, the first between the two since Harris and President Joe Biden took office in January, followed the ICC’s announcement of the investigation Wednesday.
The tribunal ruled in February that the occupied Palestinian territories fell under its jurisdiction, paving the way for an investigation into war crimes committed by Palestinians and Israelis.
Attorney General Fatou Bensouda promised that the investigation would be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”
Bensouda, who will be replaced by British prosecutor Karim Khan on June 16, said in December 2019 that war crimes had been or were being committed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Bensouda pointed to the Israeli army and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.
During Thursday’s appeal, Harris and Netanyahu noted “their governments’ opposition to attempts by the International Criminal Court to exercise jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” the White House said.
A day earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said that Washington “Strongly opposes and is deeply disappointed” by the decision of the ICC.
“Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the jurisdiction of the Court, and we are seriously concerned about attempts by the ICC to exercise jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” Blinken said in a statement. communicated.
Harris and Netanyahu also agreed to continue to cooperate on regional security issues, particularly Iran’s nuclear program and its “dangerous” behavior, according to the White House statement.
Harris “underscored the United States’ unwavering commitment to the security of Israel,” the statement added.
Biden’s attempt to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, however, puts him and Netanyahu on a potential collision course.
The Israeli prime minister opposed the nuclear deal and applauded former President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon it in 2018.
Harris also praised Netanyahu for Israel’s coronavirus vaccine program and they agreed to increase cooperation on the coronavirus, water, green energy and other initiatives, the White House said.
Israel has released the world’s fastest vaccination campaign, delivering at least one dose to more than half of its 9.3 million people and the required two doses to about a third of its population in less than two months.
In contrast, the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel have struggled to immunize their population due to lack of access and lack of financial means.
Critics argue that Israel is responsible for vaccinating Palestinians under occupation.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) had previously condemned Israel’s plan to send coronavirus vaccines to distant countries while ignoring the Palestinian population of five million people living miles away under its military occupation as a “measure immoral ”.