House Votes to Impose Sanctions on ICC Over Netanyahu Warrant

The House passed a bill on June 4 that would impose sanctions on those who aid and abet the International Criminal Court (ICC)—legislation the White House opposes and which comes in light of the Hague court’s declaring it would seek an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The final tally was 217–155, with two voting “present.”

ICC prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan announced on May 20 that the ICC will also seek arrest warrants for Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri for allegedly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity on and following Hamas’s Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack against Israel.

The Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, introduced by Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas), would allow the United States to enact sanctions on any foreign person who “has directly engaged in or otherwise aided any effort by the [ICC] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person”; and “has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of any effort by the [ICC] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person.”

The bill would also allow the president to sanction those “currently acting or purports to have acted, directly or indirectly, for or on behalf of any person that directly engages in any effort by the [ICC] to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute a protected person.”

The president would be required to impose these sanctions no later than 60 days following enactment of the legislation and on a continual basis if the ICC is “engaging in any attempt to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person.”

Related Stories

Netanyahu ‘Disappointed’ After US Refuses to Back Sanctioning ICC Over Warrants
ICC Seeking Israel and Hamas Arrest Warrants Sparks Debate in Australia

Those sanctioned would be ineligible to enter or be inside the United States.

Testifying before the Senate on May 21, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is open to working with Congress on a legislative response to the ICC announcement.

Mr. Blinken said the ICC announcement “only complicates the prospects” of getting a cease-fire and a deal for Hamas to release the hostages. He said he would “welcome working” on legislation to hold the ICC accountable, although “the devil’s in the details, so let’s see what you got, and we can take from there.”

In a May 21 interview with CNN, Mr. Netanyahu called the ICC’s announcement “beyond outrageous.”

However, the White House has come out in opposition to the House bill.

In a June 3 statement, the White House warned that the legislation “could require sanctions against court staff, judges, witnesses, and U.S. allies and partners who provide even limited, targeted support to the court in a range of aspects of its work.”

“There are more effective ways to defend Israel, preserve U.S. positions on the ICC, and promote international justice and accountability, and the Administration stands ready to work with the Congress on those options,” they said.

Mr. Gallant said on May 20 that “the parallel [the ICC prosecutor] has drawn between the Hamas terrorist organization and the State of Israel is despicable.”

Hamas, justifying its “armed resistance,” said in a May 20 statement that the ICC decided to “equate the victim with the executioner.”

In addition to the administration, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have condemned the ICC decision.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

Running For Office? Conservative Campaign Consulting – Election Day Strategies!