Joe Biden calls ICC’s arrest warrant against Israel’s PM ‘outrageous’: ’What’s happening in Gaza is not genocide…’

US President Biden has condemned ICC prosecutor's arrest warrants against Israeli leaders as 'outrageous', and reaffirmed support for Israel over Hamas.

Written By Karishma Pranav Bhavsar
Updated21 May 2024
Biden slams International Criminal Court's request to arrest Israel PM (Photo: Bloomberg)
Biden slams International Criminal Court’s request to arrest Israel PM (Photo: Bloomberg)

US President Joe Biden has denounced the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders as ‘outrageous’ while reaffirming his support for Israel in its ongoing conflict with Hamas. In a statement, Biden also emphasised that there is no ‘equivalence’ between Israel and Hamas.

On Monday, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced that his office had sought arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders in connection with alleged crimes during the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent conflict with Gaza. 

Khan stated that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are “criminally responsible” for “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” For Hamas, arrest warrants were requested for leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh, and Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, also known as Deif.

The US President said, “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.”

Also Read: Indian national Waibhav Anil Kale dies in Gaza amid Israel-Hamas war: Who was he?

In another statement, Biden told the Jewish American Heritage Month event at the White House, “What’s happening is not genocide.” His comments were directed at a separate tribunal, the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is dealing with allegations by South Africa that Israel’s war in Gaza is genocidal, newswire AFP reported.

Moreover, the US State Department also issued a statement on the matter and called the ICC Prosecutor’s announcement ‘shameful.

Also Read: Ebrahim Raisi ‘assassinated’? Many suspect Israel’s role behind the Iranian President’s death, officials clarify

“The United States fundamentally rejects the announcement today from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that he is applying for arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials, together with warrants for Hamas terrorists. We reject the Prosecutor’s equivalence of Israel with Hamas. It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organisation that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and is still holding dozens of innocent people hostage, including Americans,” the US State Department said in a statement.

Also Read: ‘Didn’t publicise it’: PM Modi speaks out on Gaza war, ‘Sent my envoy to Israel’ ahead of Phase 5 of Lok Sabha polls

“Moreover, the United States has been clear since well before the current conflict that ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. 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. In other situations, the Prosecutor deferred to national investigations and worked with states to allow them time to investigate. The Prosecutor did not afford the same opportunity to Israel, which has ongoing investigations into allegations against its personnel,” it added.

(With inputs from ANI, AFP)

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