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President Biden has strongly criticized 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. 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.”

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On Monday, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan announced his intention to pursue arrest warrants against both Israeli and Hamas leaders. This decision follows Hamas’s attacks last October, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,100 Israelis, and Israel’s subsequent response that has killed up to 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza. Khan has accused Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Hamas leaders Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.


A panel of three judges will review the prosecutor’s application and decide whether to issue the arrest warrants, a process that could extend over several weeks. In response, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed the US position, stating that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over this matter. He said, “The ICC was established by its state parties as a court of limited jurisdiction. 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.”

President Biden has consistently defended Israel’s right to respond to Hamas and has condemned antisemitism. At the same time, he has urged Israel to permit more aid into Gaza and take greater measures to protect civilians.


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