Latest News 21-05-2024 09:10 11 Views

Progressive senator backs potential ICC arrest warrant for Netanyahu: ‘Unprecedented war’

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., deviated from some of his Democratic colleagues and jumped on board with International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan's move Monday to file applications for arrest warrants against Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Hamas leaders for allegedly committing 'war crimes' during the conflict in Gaza. 

'The ICC prosecutor is right,' Sanders said in a statement Monday afternoon on X. 'These arrest warrants may or may not be carried out, but it is imperative that the global community uphold international law. Without these standards of decency and morality, this planet may rapidly descend into anarchy, never-ending wars, and barbarism.'

Sanders' comments come hours after Democratic lawmakers came out largely divided over ICC's petition.

Sanders also said that in the last several years, ICC issued arrest warrants for multiple political leaders who violated human rights laws and international war policies, including Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Ukraine invasion and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar for the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel. 

Now included on that list is Netanyahu, 'who, in response, has waged an unprecedented war of destruction against the entire Palestinian people, which has killed or injured more than 5 percent of the population.'

Khan said in a statement Monday that based on evidence collected and examined by his office, he has 'reasonable grounds' to believe Netanyahu and Gallant 'bear criminal responsibility for... war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the State of Palestine.' 

He said those alleged crimes include 'starvation of civilians as a method of warfare' and 'intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population.' 

Meanwhile, House GOP lawmakers called the ICC's petition for arrest warrants 'a gift to terrorists around the globe.' 

'The ICC's decision to equate Israel with Hamas as a war criminal is a gift to terrorists around the globe and a slap in the face to the only free-standing democracy in the Middle East,' House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the No. 3 House GOP lawmaker, told Fox News Digital. 'There is no comparison between the deliberate killing, raping, and torturing of thousands of innocent civilians and those who are rightfully defending themselves against it.'

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said in a statement, 'In the absence of leadership from the White House, Congress is reviewing all options, including sanctions, to punish the ICC and ensure its leadership faces consequences if they proceed. If the ICC is allowed to threaten Israeli leaders, ours could be next.'

Fox News Digital's Greg Norman and Liz Elkind contributed to this report. 


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