US House passes legislation to sanction ICC over Gaza warrants bid

The US House of Representatives has voted to pass legislation that would sanction the International Criminal Court (ICC) after its prosecutor applied for arrest warrants against Israeli officials, the BBC reports.

The move comes after The Hague-based court’s prosecutor said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant should be arrested on charges relating to the war in Gaza.

The prosecutor is also seeking warrants for three leaders of Hamas.

The bill, proposed by pro-Israel Republicans, targets ICC officials involved in the case by blocking their entry to the US.

On Tuesday, it passed with a majority of Republican support by a vote of 247-155. Two Republicans voted “present” and 42 pro-Israel Democrats crossed the aisle to back the legislation.

Though the bill passed in the House, it is not expected to become law.

The legislation will likely be ignored by Democrats who control the US Senate, where it would have to pass before it could be signed into law by the president.

But President Joe Biden has also indicated that he “strongly opposes” the bill and the administration has said it does not support the sanctions.

If it did become law, however, the legislation would also revoke any US visas held by ICC officials and restrict them from making property transactions in the US.

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