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House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, along with other pro-Israel lawmakers, have condemned the International Criminal Court (ICC) for seeking arrest warrants against Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Hamas leaders for alleged war crimes. Emmer stated that there is no comparison between the actions of Israel defending itself and the deliberate killing, raping, and torturing of innocent civilians by Hamas. They are calling for consequences for the ICC and for the U.S. government to take action against the international judicial body.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan believes there are “reasonable grounds” to accuse Israeli officials of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the Gaza strip, including intentional targeting of civilians and starvation as a method of warfare. Arrest warrants are also being sought for Hamas leaders over a terror attack in Israel in 2023. This has prompted outrage among defenders of Israel in Washington, who argue that neither Israel nor the U.S. are under ICC jurisdiction, but the Palestinian territories are. Pro-Israel lawmakers are calling for a strong response against the ICC.

House GOP members like Rep. Mike Waltz and Rep. Jim Banks have criticized the ICC as a “kangaroo court” and are pushing to end American support for the body. Waltz suggested that ICC officials should be banned from entering the U.S. Banks co-sponsored legislation to sanction the ICC if it targets Americans and allies. House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik is also calling for a legislative response to punish those behind the arrest warrants against Israel.

Senators like Tom Cotton, Jim Risch, and Lindsey Graham have expressed their anger over the ICC’s actions, calling the charges politically motivated and harmful to the court’s credibility. Cotton vowed that those involved in seeking the arrest warrants will never set foot in the U.S. again. President Biden and Democrats have also condemned the ICC’s move, with Biden calling it “outrageous.” Senator Fetterman criticized the ICC for suggesting a moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, stating that there is none.

The ICC’s decision to seek arrest warrants against Israeli officials and Hamas leaders has sparked a strong backlash from lawmakers in Washington. Many argue that the ICC is unfairly targeting Israel, a U.S. ally, while equating its actions with those of Hamas terrorists. Calls for consequences for the ICC and a legislative response from Congress are growing among both House Republicans and Senate Republicans, as well as from the White House. The credibility of the ICC has been called into question due to its handling of the situation.

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