White House Opposes GOP Bill to Sanction ICC Over Israel Warrants

(ReliableNews.org) – Israel’s war on Hamas is controversial because of the number of civilian casualties. The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently announced it was seeking arrest warrants against two Israeli officials. Republicans want to sanction the criminal court but the White House has objected.

On May 20, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) said the House intended to vote on a bill introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) to sanction ICC officials. Lawmakers were furious after ICC prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan announced he was seeking warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant.

The prosecutor accused the Israeli officials of war crimes by allegedly using starvation as a weapon against the Palestinian people. Khan also said the Jewish state was committing genocide against the people of Gaza and had targeted civilians in the missile strikes.

A group of bipartisan senators are also seeking to punish the ICC. Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Fetterman (D-PA), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced support for bans on ICC officials and sanctions against the international body.

National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby held a press briefing on May 28 and said President Joe Biden doesn’t believe sanctioning the ICC “is the right approach.” He went on to say the administration doesn’t think the ICC even has jurisdiction to issue arrest warrants because Israel is not a member.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said that sanctions would not be “an effective or appropriate tool to address US concerns.”

Netanyahu responded to the Biden administration’s refusal to sanction the ICC by saying the administration originally said it would “back the sanctions bill.” He explained that he was under the impression that was Biden’s position just a few days ago but he recently learned that’s not the case. He said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the news.

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