Decisions Made by Trump Must Be Revoked
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) expressed its regret over the Biden administration’s intention to maintain Trump’s decisions including the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the transfer of the embassy there and the annexation of the occupied territories and the Golan Heights to Israel.
Should the Biden administration follow the path of law; it must hold accountable all countries committing human rights violations, and review all decisions issued by Trump in support of these dictatorships, including Israel at the top of the list.
It is not acceptable to prosecute and hold some countries accountable for crimes and let Israel commit crimes amid absolute impunity. This double-standard would negatively impact the credibility of this administration and indicates its lack of seriousness to resolve the decades-long conflict which threatens international peace and security.
AOHR UK called on the Biden administration to revoke the decision of imposing sanctions against staff of the International Criminal Court, as such decisions affect the work of those seeking to pursue serious crimes.
Donald Trump had imposed sanctions on Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and another high-ranking employee in the prosecutor’s office last September.
This came after the prosecutor announced her intention to open an official investigation into “war crimes committed in the West Bank, Gaza, east of occupied Jerusalem and Afghanistan”.
For her part, Bensouda criticized Trump’s decision and asserted that the court had enough evidence to prove that US forces “committed acts of torture, rape, sexual violence and other violations in Afghanistan during the years 2003 and 2004.”
Sanctions should be issued against perpetrators of the most horrific crimes, not against those seeking to achieve justice, therefore the US administration must review these penalties, work on helping the court bring perpetrators of these brutal crimes to justice, and take the necessary measures to protect the independence of the court.
Stopping the UNRWA Funding
In a related context, AOHR UK called on the new US administration to cancel the decision issued by Trump in August 2018 to stop the UNRWA funding which provides support to nearly 5.9 million Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
The organisation stressed on the importance of abolishing this decision as it is a racist decision, which violates the basic rights of the Palestinian people and supports the Israeli occupation in its crimes and brutal practices against the Palestinians.
This decision came a week after the US administration announced its intention to reduce $200 million of Palestinian economic support funds for programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in addition to a previous decision to reduce UNRWA donations from $ 365 million to only 65 million which were paid at the beginning of the year.
This arbitrary decision hindered the agency’s emergency services and left it in a huge financial crisis which affected UNRWA’s programs and employees.
AOHR UK stressed that enforcing these decisions indicates that the Biden administration will follow the same approach of the previous US administration in violation of international law. This would encourage individuals and other countries to follow the same approach, thus giving no value to the international covenants and treaties.