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U.S. House Votes to Sanction ICC Over Netanyahu Arrest Warrant

Daniel Kim Views  

Reuters-Yonhap News 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a Holocaust memorial event on the 6th of last month.

On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that would impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court for issuing arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. The ICC, primarily established by major European countries, consists of 123 member countries. The United States, China, and Russia are among the countries that are not members.

According to the New York Times (NYT), on the 4th, the ICC sanction proposal, led by the Republicans, passed with 247 in favor and 155 against.

Representative Chip Roy, Republican of Texas and the bill’s author, argued that the measure was essential to prevent the International Court from exceeding its jurisdiction. He also noted that it would help ease concerns about potential actions against U.S. officials following any taken against Israeli officials.

Previously, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan had issued arrest warrants for both Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The ICC has determined that both the Israeli attack on Hamas leaders and the Gaza Strip attack by Israeli leaders were war crimes.

Since the U.S. has supported Israel’s attacks in the past, there is a risk of becoming entangled in this issue. Following the request for the arrest warrant, President Joe Biden criticized it as an “outrageous decision.” At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also calls ICC warrants “wrongheaded,” saying they complicate efforts for the Israel-Hamas cease-fire deal. 

However, the likelihood of the sanction proposal passing through the Senate is slim. This is because the Senate is dominated by Democrats, and even if it passes through the Senate, it requires the President’s signature.

The Biden administration has stated that while it believes the ICC’s arrest warrants are wrong, it does not intend to sanction the ICC. Previously, John Kirby, White House National Security Communications Assistant, said in a briefing, “We do not believe that sanctions against the ICC are the right approach here.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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