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Visa bans for ICC officials urged by bipartisan senators after Israel arrest warrant requests

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: A bipartisan group of senators is proposing multiple actions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) following the body’s decision to request warrants for Israeli officials. 

A resolution led by Sens. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that was exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital would recommend that President Biden and Congress ‘impose financial sanctions and visa bans on officials of the International Criminal Court for an abuse of power that threatens United States interests and weakens United States allies.’

The resolution would express officially that the Senate ‘stands with Israel and fully rejects the action by the International Criminal Court against senior Israeli officials.’

It would additionally encourage allies and partners, which the senators note are responsible in large part for funding the ICC, ‘to use their leverage to halt the politicized proceedings.’ 

‘It is unconscionable that the ICC prosecutor would seek arrest warrants for Israeli leaders for defending against Hamas terrorists,’ Rounds said in a statement. ‘Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization while Israel is a democracy and ally of the United States that works hard to uphold international law. This action by the ICC prosecutor draws an equivalency that is devoid of reality. I am proud to lead my colleagues in this resolution that tells the world that we stand with Israel.’

The measure is co-sponsored by Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., John Thune, R-S.D., Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., John Boozman, R-Ark., Mike Braun, R-Ind., John Fetterman, D-Penn., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., John Kennedy, R-La., and Rick Scott, R-Fla.

In his own statement, Manchin remarked, ‘The International Criminal Court’s decision to charge Israeli leadership with war crimes is shocking and disgraceful. Israel is facing an existential threat in Hamas’s brutal terrorist agenda, and I have continued to support the country’s right to defend itself in a manner expected of a nation that abides by the law of armed conflict.

‘I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution with Senator Rounds to condemn the ICC’s outrageous choice that equates Israel’s efforts to secure its homeland with the barbarism of Hamas, and I encourage all of my colleagues to join us,’ he continued. 

Earlier this week, the ICC officially filed applications for arrest warrants against both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in addition to those against terrorist group Hamas’ leaders for committing ‘war crimes.’

Numerous U.S. lawmakers and President Biden reacted negatively to the ICC’s move, particularly taking issue with any equating of Israel, a democracy, to Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization. 

Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office did not provide comment to Fox News Digital when prompted on if he would bring the resolution to the floor. 

The ICC did not provide comment to Fox News Digital in time for publication. 

The proposed Senate resolution comes as members in the House across both parties similarly are in discussions about how to address the ICC’s decision. ‘There are ongoing discussions, as I understand it, between Chairman McCaul and ranking member Gregory Meeks, and the objective is trying to reach bipartisan consensus with respect to the International Criminal Court,’ Jeffries told Fox News Digital on Thursday, explaining that the top Republican and Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee were speaking about the issue. 

However, Jeffries said he hadn’t been in conversation with Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., about it. 

After the court revealed the warrant requests, Biden denounced them, calling the move ‘outrageous.’

‘And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.  We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security,’ Biden said in a statement. 

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan claimed in the request that there were ‘reasonable grounds’ to suggest that both Netanyahu and Gallant had committed war crimes, including using ‘starvation of civilians as a method of warfare’ and ‘intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population.’ 

‘This is a rogue prosecutor who’s gone amok,’ Netanyahu claimed in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. He’s out to demonize the one and only Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East, and it’s both false and dangerous.’

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

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