Biden Deems ICC's Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant 'Excessive'

Joe Biden and Antony Blinken have strongly criticized the International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan's decision to seek arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, calling the move excessive and fundamentally flawed

by Sededin Dedovic
Biden Deems ICC's Arrest Warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant 'Excessive'
© Win McNamee / Getty Images

President of the United States Joe Biden described as excessive the decision by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, to seek arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Khan also requested arrest warrants for Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity. "Let me be clear, whatever that prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence—none—between Israel and Hamas.

We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security," Biden stated. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Biden administration "fundamentally rejects" Khan's decision. "We reject the prosecutor's equivalence of Israel and Hamas.

It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and still holds dozens of innocent people hostage, including Americans," Blinken said in a separate statement.

The U.S. Secretary of State reiterated the long-standing U.S. position that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, given that neither Israel nor the U.S. are members of the court, as reported by Israeli media.

Blinken stated that the court has limited jurisdiction and that these limitations are rooted in the principles of complementarity, which, it appears, were not applied in this case. He assessed that the Chief Prosecutor rushed to seek arrest warrants instead of allowing Israel's legal system to act fully and promptly.

Blinken believes that the prosecutor did not give Israel the opportunity, as in other cases, for a national investigation even though one is being conducted due to the accusations. "Despite not being a member of the court, Israel was willing to cooperate with the prosecutor.

In fact, it was planned for the prosecutor himself to visit Israel next week to discuss the investigation and listen to the Israeli government," the U.S. Secretary of State said, adding that these and other circumstances question the legitimacy and credibility of the investigation.

"Fundamentally, this decision does not help and can jeopardize ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire that would release hostages and increase humanitarian aid, goals to which the U.S. is tirelessly committed," Blinken warned.

Joe Biden