Biden Rejects ICC Authority Over Israel Amid Gaza Conflict Inquiry

The Biden administration has made it clear that it would not support any potential arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Israeli officials related to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized their stance during a press briefing, stating that the administration does not believe the ICC has jurisdiction in this matter. U.S. National Security Council coordinator John Kirby also reiterated this position, emphasizing that they do not support the ICC’s investigation into the situation.

Reports have surfaced suggesting that the ICC may unveil arrest warrants for senior Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the near future. However, the court has not confirmed these reports. The ICC is investigating both Hamas’s terrorist attack and Israel’s military response. The death toll in Gaza, including both combatants and civilians, has surpassed 34,000 people, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.

Israel is not a member of the ICC, and the United States is also not part of the court. If any arrest warrants were issued, they could restrict the travel of Israeli officials and potentially validate the concerns of Israel’s critics. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed that any decision by the ICC would not impact Israel’s actions but could establish a “dangerous precedent” that threatens soldiers and public figures.

Several U.S. lawmakers, particularly from the Republican party, have reacted to the possibility of ICC indictments with criticism. House Speaker Mike Johnson labeled the reports as “disgraceful,” “baseless,” and “illegitimate,” emphasizing the potential threat to U.S. national security interests. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul also cautioned against the issuance of arrest warrants, calling it a “big mistake” that would set a dangerous precedent. Additionally, a member of the committee, Rep. Brian Mast, suggested a potential hearing with ICC President Tomoko Akane and Prosecutor Karim Khan.

Throughout the conflict, Israeli officials have consistently denied allegations of war crimes and genocide. The Republican party has largely echoed the sentiment of their lawmakers in support of Israel during the ongoing conflict.

Written by Staff Reports

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