Following the UN's announcement that the Palestinians - represented by the Palestinian Authority - will be joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, the US responded on Wednesday by insisting that Palestine does not qualify as a "sovereign state" and the Obama Administration "does not recognize it as such." The comments were made by State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki at the daily briefing, when she also said the US "does not believe that (Palestine) is eligible to accede to the Rome statute" which set up the Court.
"We certainly support the Palestinians ultimately having a state of their own, she continued, "but their interest or efforts to accede to UN organizations is counterproductive to the stated goal of achieving peace in the region." In Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Republican Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill "that would bar the administration from giving aid to the Palestinians should they become a member of the court," Psaki noted.
"That legislation is tougher than the existing legislation that bans aid only in the case of the Palestinians joining and then filing a case or supporting a case against Israel," she explained.
Last month, President Barack Obama signed into law the possibility of a funding cut to the Palestinian Authority if it pursues criminal charges against Israel through the ICC.