Bolton Says International Court 'Dead to Us'

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem

The Palestinians accused the administration of dismantling decades of US engagement with them.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, is to make the announcement in a midday speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative group, in Washington, in which he will express deep hostility to the world body, by telling the organisation that it is "dead to [us]".

That's not all: "We will sanction their funds in the USA financial system, and we will prosecute them in the USA criminal system", Bolton will say, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"The U.S. would do better to finally understand that the Palestinians will not surrender and that no amount of coercion or unwarranted collective punitive measures will bring the Palestinian leadership or people to their knees", PLO executive committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

The mission closure is only the latest in a series of moves chipping away at traditional American support to the Palestinians. The administration, however, has yet to release its own much-vaunted but largely unknown peace plan although it said it still intends to do so.

"We lost the U.S. administration but we gained our national rights", said Zomlot, who was recalled back to Ramallah in the spring amid tensions between Washington and the Palestinian leadership. The Trump administration responded by threatening to close the PLO office in D.C.

During a speech in Washington, Bolton blamed the Palestinian Authority for failing to take "meaningful steps" to advance peace.

Israel welcomed Bolton's statement and alleged that the Palestinians were trying to circumvent the US-sponsored bilateral negotiations by seeking the court's intervention.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah that the full range of political, economic and security ties would be reassessed in the wake of the Trump administration's decision on Monday to shut the Palestinian mission in Washington.

The Washington D.C. office of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Nov. 18, 2017. According to the Journal, Bolton will claim the Palestinians aren't sufficiently committed to negotiating a long-term peace agreement with Israel.

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Last week, Trump also ordered that $25 million earmarked for the care of Palestinians in East Jerusalem hospitals be directed elsewhere as part of a review of aid.

It comes one day after the 25th anniversary of the Letter of Mutual Recognition that saw Israel and the PLO recognise each other in the US-led Oslo process.

Following the US Jerusalem embassy opening in May, and the shooting by Israeli soldiers of hundreds of Palestinian protesters, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, recalled his envoy to the US and stopped communication.

"The United States continues to believe that direct negotiations between the two parties are the only way forward", the statement adds.

"The ICC prosecutor has requested to investigate these Americans for alleged detainee abuse, and perhaps more - an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation", he said.

FILE - International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (L) is seen at the trial of Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda at the ICC in the Hague, the Netherlands, Aug. 28, 2018.

In his first public address since joining the Trump administration in April, Bolton called the court "antithetical to our nation's ideals" and pledged to "use any means necessary" to protect the United States and its allies from "unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court".

"The US threats against the ICC are a coup against the rules in the worldwide system", he said. We will provide no assistance to the ICC.

Palestine joined the ICC in 2012 after receiving an observer state status in the United Nations.

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