House Approves ICC Sanctions Bill Following Israel Warrant Requests

( – On June 4, the House passed the Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, which threatens the International Criminal Court (ICC) with sanctions following its chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, seeking arrest warrants for top Israeli officials.

The bill would impose sanctions on the individuals in the ICC if they are engaged in efforts to “investigate, arrest, detain or prosecute any protected person” associated with the United States or its allies. Under the proposed bill, the sanctions would include revoking visas and imposing restrictions on transactions of property within the United States.

In a vote of 247-155, 205 Republicans and 42 Democrats voted to approve the bill, introduced in May by Texas Rep. Chip Roy, sending it to the Senate.

Roy proposed the legislation after learning Khan planned to file applications for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes related to the war with Hamas. Khan also requested an application for an arrest warrant for Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. A panel of ICC judges must review the applications for arrest warrants.

House Speaker and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson condemned the move by the ICC, stating that if they proceed with issuing arrest warrants, Congress would take action “to punish the ICC.”

In a statement following the vote in the House, Roy said the bill sends the ICC “a strong message” that “their outrageous attacks on Israel” would not be tolerated.

A co-sponsor of the bill, Florida Rep. Brian Mast, called on the Senate to “immediately” pass the bill. However, it is unclear if the Senate will take up the legislation.

However, despite speaking out against the arrest warrant applications “and calling them “outrageous, President Joe Biden is opposed to the bill, stating there are “more effective ways” for the United States to respond.

Established in 2002, the ICC is responsible for prosecuting people for crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, and war crimes. Its headquarters are in The Hague in the Netherlands.

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