The International Criminal Court’s unanimous rejection of a request to investigate U.S. forces for possible war crimes in Afghanistan is a “major international victory”, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday.
Trump however warned the court against trying to prosecute Israelis or Americans following a complaint by Palestinians, which have called for an ICC investigation of Israel.
“Any attempt to target American, Israeli, or allied personnel for prosecution will be met with a swift and vigorous response,” Trump said.
“This is a major international victory, not only for these patriots, but for the rule of law,” Trump said in a statement. “We welcome this decision and reiterate our position that the United States holds American citizens to the highest legal and ethical standards.”
The ICC is currently investigating Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza including the demolition of Palestinian property and eviction of Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in October that “extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory constitute war crimes” under the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC.