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US House Passes Bill to Authorize Sanctions on ICC for Israeli Leader Arrest Warrants

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteThe Capitol is seen in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2023
The Capitol is seen in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.06.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday to authorize sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to an ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.
House lawmakers passed the bill, dubbed the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, in a vote of 247 in favor, 155 opposed and two present.
On May 20, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan filed arrest warrant requests for officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as for leaders of Palestinian organization Hamas.
Neither Israel nor the United States are parties to the treaty establishing the ICC.
The bill enables the imposition of sanctions on the ICC or any other foreign actor that supports their effort to arrest, detain or prosecute protected persons of the US or its allies; the legislation’s definition of a protected person includes foreign citizens or lawful residents of a US ally that has not consented to ICC jurisdiction.
US President Joe Biden shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they meet on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2023.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.04.2024
US Congress Drafting Bill Against ICC if Warrants Issued to Israeli Officials - Reports
The legislation was backed by House Republican leadership, but the White House said that the Biden administration strongly opposes the bill. There are more effective ways to defend Israel and preserve US positions on the ICC, the White House said in a statement.
On October 7, Hamas launched a large-scale attack on Israel, killing nearly 1,200 people and abducting some 240 others. Israel subsequently launched military operations in the Gaza Strip, which have killed more than 36,500 people in the Palestinian enclave, according to local authorities.
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