Arrest warrants against Netanyahu, other Israeli officials will result in sanctions against you: 12 US senators to ICC

Benjamin Netanyahu

A dozen Republican US senators have threatened the International Criminal Court (ICC) with American sanctions if the international court moves forward with arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials, according to a copy of a letter published Monday, Anadolu reported.

The one-page letter, obtained by online news website Zeteo, is addressed to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan.

It says any potential arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials “are illegitimate and lack legal basis, and if carried out will result in severe sanctions against you and your institution.”

“Target Israel and we will target you,” the 12 lawmakers wrote in the letter. “These arrest warrants would align the ICC with the largest state sponsor of terrorism and its proxy. To be clear, there is no moral equivalence between Hamas’s terrorism and Israel’s justified response.”

Signatories to the letter include Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Mitch McConnell, Katie Boyd Britt, Marsha Blackburn, Ted Budd, Kevin Cramer, Bill Hagerty, Pete Ricketts, Rick Scott, Tim Scott and Ted Cruz.

The sanctions being threatened would target the ICC’s employees, associates, and would include visa sanctions for the families of ICC personnel.

Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen accused the Republicans of engaging in “thuggery” against the top international court.

“It is fine to express opposition to a possible judicial action, but it is absolutely wrong to interfere in a judicial matter by threatening judicial officers, their family members and their employees with retribution. This thuggery is something befitting the mafia, not U.S. senators,” he said in a statement to Zeteo.

Israel and the US are not members of the ICC and do not recognize its jurisdiction. Palestine was admitted as a member of The Hague-based court in 2015.

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