STORY: :: Blinken blasts ICC move seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders

:: Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

"The extremely wrong-headed decision by the ICC prosecutor yesterday. The shameful equivalence implied between Hamas and the leadership of Israel, I think that only complicates the prospects of getting such an agreement. We'll continue to forge ahead to do that. But that decision, as you said, on so many levels is totally wrong-headed. And we'll be happy to work with Congress, with this committee on an appropriate response."

:: Washington

:: May 21, 2024

Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Blinken said the Biden administration would be happy to work with Congress to formulate an appropriate response to the ICC's request to issue arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders.

"We'll be happy to work with Congress, with this committee, on an appropriate response" to the ICC move, Blinken said on Tuesday.

He did not say what a response to the ICC move might include.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said on Monday he had reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's defense chief and three Hamas leaders "bear criminal responsibility" for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Washington roundly criticized Khan's announcement, arguing the court does not have jurisdiction over the Gaza conflict and raising concerns over process.

The United States is not a member of the court, but has supported past prosecutions, including the ICC's decision last year to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.