Biden White House rejects ICC sanctions proposed by lawmakers after Israel warrant requests

The White House refused to support proposed sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) following its choice to request warrants for Israeli officials for alleged “war crimes” as the country fights the terrorist group Hamas. 

“We don’t believe that sanctions against the ICC is the right approach here, no,” said National Security Council (NSC) Coordinator John Kirby during a Tuesday White House press briefing. 

He reiterated that the Biden administration does not “believe the ICC has jurisdiction” and they don’t support the arrest warrants requested against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. 

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The ICC requested the warrants alongside similar ones for Hamas’ leaders. Israeli and Hamas leaders were accused of committing “war crimes” by the body. 

Despite objecting to the ICC’s move, Kirby said the Biden administration doesn’t think “sanctioning the ICC is the answer.” 

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The White House’s stance on potential sanctions comes as both the House and Senate make policy recommendations to respond to the ICC. 

Last week, a significant bipartisan group led by Sens. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., advised visa bans for ICC officials and sanctions on the international body. The group included Democratic Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., John Fetterman, D-Penn., and Bob Casey, D-Penn.

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The introduced Senate provision also sought to formally reject the actions of the ICC. 

In the House, Reps. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Brian Mast, R-Fla., have introduced a measure that would force the president to implement sanctions against the ICC if the court goes after U.S. allies, such as Israel, which are not in its jurisdiction.

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According to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., “There are ongoing discussions, as I understand it, between Chairman McCaul and ranking member Gregory Meeks, and the objective is trying to reach bipartisan consensus with respect to the International Criminal Court.” 

However, with the White House ruling out sanctions, its unclear whether any actions will be taken by the U.S. in response to the ICC. 

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

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