By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has confirmed that the bill is being drafted.

US House Republicans are developing a bill to impose sanctions on officials from the International Criminal Court as a preventive measure against possible arrest warrants for Israeli officials, the American news website Axios reported on Wednesday.

According to Axios, this is significant because bipartisan members of Congress have consistently cautioned that the ICC could face repercussions from the United States if it proceeds with these warrants.

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has confirmed that the bill is being drafted and disclosed to Axios that he, along with other Republican lawmakers, has been in communication with ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.

“We want to emphasize to him that going down this road of arrest warrants is a really bad idea and it’s going to blow up the relationship,” he was quoted as saying.

Stop Threatening Us – ICC Prosecutor Calls for End to Intimidation of Staff, Officials

“We’re not sure if the arrest warrants are imminent, but it’s sort of a precaution to let them know that, if they do, we have this legislation ready to go. It won’t be put on the floor unless we have to,” McCaul reportedly added.

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators also held an online meeting with ICC officials to voice their concerns about the arrest warrants, as reported by Axios’ Barak Ravid and Stephen Neukam.

On the other side, Khan responded last Friday calling for an end to the “intimidation of its staff”, saying such threats could constitute an offense against the world’s permanent war crimes court.

In the statement posted on social media platform X, the ICC prosecutor’s office said all attempts to impede, intimidate or improperly influence its officials must cease immediately. 

“The Office of the Prosecutor is aware that there is significant public interest in its investigations,” the statement read, adding that “the Office seeks to engage constructively with all stakeholders whenever such dialogue is consistent with its mandate under the Rome Statute to act independently and impartially”.

‘Unnaturally Afraid’ – Netanyahu Worried ICC Could Issue Arrest Warrants

‘Unnaturally Afraid’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed deep concern over the possibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issuing an arrest warrant for him and other high-ranking officials, according to Israeli media.

This comes amid Israeli media reports of the potential issuance of arrest warrants by the ICC against Netanyahu and other Israeli political and military leaders – such as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi – for alleged violations of international law in the ongoing assault of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli newspaper Maariv cited unnamed sources as saying that Netanyahu is “unnaturally afraid and worried” about the prospect of facing an ICC arrest warrant in The Hague.

‘Absurd Position’ – Russia Slams US Hypocrisy over ICC, Israel

In recent days, according to the report, Netanyahu has reached out to various international leaders and officials, including US President Joe Biden, in an effort to prevent the issuance of such a warrant.

On Friday, Netanyahu said any decisions made by the ICC will not affect Israel’s actions, but would however “set a dangerous precedent.”

“Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense,” he wrote on X.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.  

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,844 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,404 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

The post ‘Sort of a Precaution’ – US Lawmakers Prepare Sanctions against ICC over Israel appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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