Selangor Journal
The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, on January 16, 2019. — Picture by REUTERS

US does not recognise ICC rule, says Biden as rivals reaffirm support for Israel

WASHINGTON, May 24 — The United States does not recognise the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and there is no equivalence between Israel and Hamas, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday.

This comes after Republican US House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Thursday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would soon address a joint meeting of Congress with Biden over the Israeli leader’s handling of the war in Gaza.

Delivering a keynote speech at the Israeli embassy’s annual Independence Day reception, Johnson, the top congressional Republican and a critic of the Democratic president’s Israel policy, said it would be “a strong show of support for the Israeli government in their time of greatest need”.

Such a speech is sure to further anger some progressive Democrats critical of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and Biden’s support for it. Netanyahu has closely aligned himself with Republicans.

The diplomatic gathering in Washington comes amid strains between Biden and Netanyahu over a US push for Israel to do more to protect Palestinian civilians in the war against Hamas militants in Gaza.

The embassy gave equal billing to Democratic US Representative Pete Aguilar, who shared the high-profile platform with Johnson at a more subdued event under the shadow of the Gaza war. “As Americans, we reaffirm our commitment to Israel’s sovereignty,” he said.

Johnson and Aguilar both condemned the ICC prosecutor’s decision this week to seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and his defense chief, Yoav Gallant. The prosecutor also asked for warrants to capture Hamas leaders for the October 7, 2023 cross-border attack on Israel, which triggered the Gaza war.

Palestinian authorities say more than 35,000 people have been killed during Israel’s campaign in Gaza, many of them women and children.

— Reuters

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