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Biden slams ICC prosecutor's 'outrageous' request for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders

President Biden on Monday ripped the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor for seeking arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” Biden said in a statement. “And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.  We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said Monday he was seeking arrest warrants against Israeli and Hamas leaders over the latter’s attacks last October that killed more than 1,100 Israelis and Israel’s subsequent response that has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Khan accused Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A panel of three judges will determine whether to issue the warrants and allow a case to proceed. The process could take several weeks.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Monday that the U.S. does not believe the ICC has jurisdiction over the matter.

“The ICC was established by its state parties as a court of limited jurisdiction,” Blinken said. “Those limits are rooted in principles of complementarity, which do not appear to have been applied here amid the Prosecutor’s rush to seek these arrest warrants rather than allowing the Israeli legal system a full and timely opportunity to proceed.”

Biden has tried to walk a careful line with his approach to Israel, defending Israel’s right to respond to Hamas and repeatedly condemning antisemitism in the wake of the attack. But, at the same time, he is also calling for Israel to allow more aid into Gaza and urging the country to do more to protect civilians.

The president said earlier this month he would stop the shipment of artillery and certain offensive weapons to Israel if it moved ahead with a full-scale invasion of Rafah in Gaza, though he has insisted U.S. support for the Jewish State is “ironclad.”

Source: The Hill

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