Biden: Move Against Netanyahu 'Outrageous'

President slams request by International Criminal Court's top prosecutor for arrest warrant
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2024 1:44 PM CDT
Biden: Move Against Netanyahu 'Outrageous'
President Biden speaks at a dinner for the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Biden has been walking the line between supporting Israel and criticizing its Gaza attack, but on Monday he came down firmly on Benjamin Netanyahu's side. Biden called the decision by the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to seek an arrest warrant for the Israeli leader "outrageous," reports Fox News. "And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence—none—between Israel and Hamas," Biden said. "We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security." Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement with similar sentiments, notes the Washington Post.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan asked the court—the only international entity with the power to prosecute such charges—to issue warrants for Netanyahu and defense chief Yoav Gallant on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity over Israel's campaign in Gaza. Khan made the same request for three top Hamas leaders over their actions in Israel.

  • Netanyahu: "As prime minister of Israel, I reject with disgust the Hague prosecutor's comparison between democratic Israel and the mass murders of Hamas," said the prime minister, per the AP. "No pressure and no decision in any international forum will prevent us from striking those who seek to destroy us."
  • Hamas: The militant group accused the ICC of trying to "equate the victim with the executioner" and said it had the right to use "armed resistance" against Israel.
  • The stakes: If the court issues the warrants, it could affect Israel's ability to import weapons and would put Netanyahu and Gallant at risk of arrest should they travel, reports the Wall Street Journal. All told, it "could diminish Israel's standing on the world stage by shrinking the spheres in which they can operate," the story. The stakes are lower for Hamas, whose leaders already are unwelcome in most Western states.
(More Benjamin Netanyahu stories.)

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