USA gives support for possible ICC sanctions over Israel warrants

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has suggested he will work with lawmakers on potential sanctions against the International Criminal Court as its prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials.

Mr Blinken told a congressional hearing he was “committed” to taking action against the “profoundly wrong-headed decision”.

His comments come amid a Republican push to impose sanctions on ICC officials, which may see a vote as soon as this week.

The United States is not a member of the court but has backed previous prosecutions, including the ICC’s arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

At a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, James Risch, its top Republican, asked whether Mr Blinken would support legislation to address the ICC “sticking its nose in the business of countries that have an independent, legitimate, democratic judicial system”.

“We want to work with you on a bipartisan basis to find an appropriate response. I’m committed to doing that,” the secretary of state said.

Mr Blinken said “there’s no question we have to look at the appropriate steps to take to deal with, again, what is a profoundly wrong-headed decision”.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced on Monday that he had applied for arrest warrants against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Mr Khan is also seeking arrest warrants for three Hamas officials – Yahya Sinwar, its leader in Gaza, Mohammed Deif, the commander of its Qassam Brigades military wing, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of its political bureau.




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