Palestinian move to join ICC will have implications for US aid, State Department says

"It should come as no surprise that there will be implications for this step, but we continue to review," a US official told Reuters.

January 2, 2015 20:00
1 minute read.
Palestinian protest in West Bank

A protester holds a placard as she stands next to Israeli soldiers during a protest against Israeli settlements in Beit Fajjar town south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Further steps by the Palestinians on Friday to deliver to the UN documents on joining the International Criminal Court will have implications for US aid, a senior State Department official said.

"It should come as no surprise that there will be implications for this step, but we continue to review," the official told Reuters.

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"US assistance to the Palestinian Authority has played a valuable role in promoting stability and prosperity not just for the Palestinians, but also for Israel as well," the official added.

Earlier on Friday, Republican and Democratic lawmakers said there would be repercussions for the Palestinian Authority in the wake of its joining the International Criminal Court.

“Congress must do everything in its power to block funds to the PA and to any UN entity that recognizes a non-existent State of Palestine to make it clear to Abu Mazen that there will be consequences to his schemes at the United Nations and other international organizations like the International Criminal Court,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Middle East subcommittee, said in a Dec. 31 statement.

Abu Mazen is the nickname of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who signed the treaty on Dec. 31.

Joining the court is a step toward allowing the investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said the move “deeply frustrated” her.

“This move only sets back the peace process even further,” Gillibrand said in a Dec. 31 statement. “I will work with my colleagues in Congress to make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that they will be held accountable for these kinds of actions.”

The Obama administration has said it was “deeply troubled” by Abbas’ action, calling it counterproductive.

On Jan. 1, Canada called Abbas’ move “dangerous.”

“Such a provocative decision only furthers the divide between Palestinians and Israelis, and will carry unfortunate consequences,” John Baird, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, said in a statement.

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