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White House ready to cooperate with Congress on possible International Criminal Court sanctions

White House ready to cooperate with Congress on possible International Criminal Court sanctions Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State (photo: Getty Images)

The administration of US President Joe Biden is ready to cooperate with Congress on the issue of possible sanctions against officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over a prosecutor's request for an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, states US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In response to the initiative of several senators following information about the prosecutor's plan at the ICC, which had wide resonance worldwide and was criticized by the White House in particular, an American official reacted.

During a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Blinken of his desire to see updated US sanctions against the ICC in response to this move.

"I want to take actions, not just words. Will you support bipartisan effort to sanction the ICC, not only for the outrage against Israel but to protect in the future our own interest?" he asked Blinken.

In turn, the Secretary of State said he was glad to work with you on this.

At previous hearings on Tuesday, Blinken said he would work with Congress on an appropriate response, calling the ICC's move deeply flawed.

According to him, this would complicate the prospects for reaching an agreement on the release of hostages held by Hamas and for stopping the fighting in the Gaza Strip, where Israel is conducting a military operation in response to a terrorist attack in October 2023.

What preceded this

On May 20, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, announced that the court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. They are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the attack on Israel on October 7 and the subsequent war in the Gaza Strip.

In Israel, there was a sharp reaction to this initiative, with plans by the ICC representative being called outrageous.

It was also reported that US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a joint statement also criticized the ICC's plans for an arrest warrant for the Israeli prime minister.

Republican members of Congress had previously threatened to impose sanctions on the ICC, but this measure cannot become law without the support of the American president and Democratic representatives, who control the Senate.

In particular, US House Speaker Mike Johnson spoke out on May 20 about this possibility.