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Biden furious over ICC seeking arrest warrants of Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden (R) is greeted by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport on October 18, 2023. (File photo)

Reiterating his support for Israel, US President Joe Biden has slammed the International Criminal Court prosecutor's application for arrest warrants against Israeli war criminals, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a brief statement released by the White House on Monday, Biden for the first time responded to ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s application for arrest warrants for Israeli officials.

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” the statement read.

“And let me be clear: .. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

The Biden administration has repeatedly maintained its “ironclad” support for Israel's savage military campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also criticized the ICC move, raising questions over the court's jurisdiction as well as its process in making this application.

"The United States fundamentally rejects the announcement today from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court," Blinken said. 

In recent weeks, pro-Israel members of Congress have repeatedly warned that the ICC risks consequences from the US if it moves forward with the warrants.

US senators had threatened the ICC prosecutor with “personally targeting him, his family, and his court staff” if he issued arrest warrants against Netanyahu and senior military officers.

ICC chief prosecutor said in a Monday statement that he has reasonable grounds to believe Netanyahu and his minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant "bear criminal responsibility" for "war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Meanwhile, Catriona Murdoch, a director of Global Rights Compliance’s Starvation and Humanitarian Crisis Division and leading international law expert, has said that the effort to prosecute Netanyahu and Gallant for the war crime of starvation is particularly significant.

“This is a watershed moment in addressing this egregious crime, which has long been viewed solely as a collateral or incidental effect of armed conflict, rather than a deliberate and calculated strategy,” Murdoch said in a statement.

“This method of warfare has been championed by Gallant and other senior Israeli ... officials including through the repeated use of dehumanizing language, a blatant and publicly stated disregard for the rules of proportionality and necessity, describing a fight ‘against human animals,’ among several similar sentiments,” she said.

Israel's war in Gaza, which began in early October, has driven around 80% of the territory's population of 2.3 million from their homes, caused vast destruction in several towns and cities and claimed the lives of 35,562 people across the besieged region.

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