Secretary of State Blinken rips 'shameful' ICC arrest warrant applications for Israeli officials

"We reject the Prosecutor’s equivalence of Israel with Hamas. It is shameful," Blinken says

Published: May 20, 2024 4:14pm

Updated: May 20, 2024 4:15pm

Secretary of State Tony Blinken ripped Karim Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), on Monday for seeking arrest warrants for top Israeli government officials and leaders of the Hamas terrorist group.

"We reject the Prosecutor’s equivalence of Israel with Hamas. It is shameful. Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust and is still holding dozens of innocent people hostage, including Americans," Blinken said in a statement.

"Moreover, the United States has been clear since well before the current conflict that that ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. The ICC was established by its state parties as a court of limited jurisdiction. Those limits are rooted in principles of complementarity, which do not appear to have been applied here amid the Prosecutor’s rush to seek these arrest warrants rather than allowing the Israeli legal system a full and timely opportunity to proceed," he added.

Blinken noted that Khan took a different approach in other situation.

"The Prosecutor deferred to national investigations and worked with states to allow them time to investigate. The Prosecutor did not afford the same opportunity to Israel, which has ongoing investigations into allegations against its personnel," he said. "There are also deeply troubling process questions. Despite not being a member of the court, Israel was prepared to cooperate with the Prosecutor."

Blinken said Khan was "scheduled to visit Israel as early as next week to discuss the investigation" and hear directly from the Israeli government.

"The Prosecutor’s staff was supposed to land in Israel today to coordinate the visit. Israel was informed that they did not board their flight around the same time that the Prosecutor went on cable television to announce the charges. These and other circumstances call into question the legitimacy and credibility of this investigation," he said.

"Fundamentally, this decision does nothing to help, and could jeopardize, ongoing efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement that would get hostages out and surge humanitarian assistance in, which are the goals the United States continues to pursue relentlessly," he added.

As Just the News reported on Monday morning, human rights attorney Amal Clooney was a member of the panel of experts who advised Khan to move forward with the arrest warrant applications.

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