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President Biden calls ICC’s arrest warrants for Israeli PM Netanyahu, other leaders ‘outrageous’

US President Joe Biden (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he joins a meeting of the Israeli war cabinet in Tel Aviv on October 18^ 2023^ battles between Israel and Hamas

President Joe Biden slammed the International Criminal Court’s announcement Monday that it is seeking to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders and charge them with war crimes and crimes against humanity, calling the move “outrageous”. The ICC announcement said that it intends to hold Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders responsible along with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and other Hamas leaders for the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas and the subsequent invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces.

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.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken also criticized the move, saying that it could jeopardize negotiations to achieve a hostage deal and a ceasefire and adding that it raises questions over the court’s jurisdiction as well as its process in making this application. Said Blinken: “It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and it still holding dozens of people hostage, including Americans.”

The reaction from the White House came several hours after ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan said in a statement that he was “filing applications for the warrants of arrests ” for Netanyahu, Sinwar and other senior Israeli and Hamas figures who have played key roles in the ongoing war in Gaza, with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also facing potential arrest.  Khan said that both Netanyahu and Gallant bear criminal responsibility for a list of “war crimes,” including the starvation of civilians, willfully “causing great suffering, or serious injury,’ willful killing, and intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population.  Khan wrote in the ICC statement: “We submit that the crimes against humanity charged were committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the Palestinian civilian population pursuant to State policy …These crimes, in our assessment, continue to this day.”

Editorial credit: Prashantrajsingh /

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