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US: ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction in Gaza, we do

The US government spokesperson said the ICC does not have jurisdiction in either Israel or Gaza because Palestinians 'do not represent a state', effectively saying neither Israel or the US are bound by international law, but Washington does support the ICC when they're going after Russia.

May 21, 2024 at 2:01 pm

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller yesterday claimed that only Israel and the US have jurisdiction to decide if the occupation army’s actions in Gaza contravene laws, providing Palestinians with nowhere to turn to seek help.

During a press conference following ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s announcement that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, the US State Department spokesperson expressed “great concerns about the prosecutor and the steps that he took.”

In a heated exchange with reporters, Miller added: “The government of Israel has jurisdiction and we have jurisdiction with the use of our military that we have provided.” Journalists called him out on this, saying the US does not have jurisdiction over criminal law cases nor over the occupied Palestinian territories, to which Miller replied that was referring to the Leahy Law, which prohibits providing military assistance to individuals or security force units that commit gross violations of human rights.

US President Joe Biden also slammed the ICC’s decision, calling it “outrageous” and pledged to stand with Israel as the process plays out. He further decried what he called Khan’s “equivalence” between Israel and Hamas

The ICC prosecutor is also seeking to issue arrest warrants against Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A panel of pre-trial judges will determine whether the evidence supports his request.

Palestinians in Gaza, and the Islamic Resistance movement itself, were incredulous that the court could regard the occupation state and the people under its occupation — who have the legitimate right to resist that occupation by all means, “including armed struggle” — with any degree of equivalence in such matters.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the move as “scandalous”, and insisted that, “They will not stop us,” such is his determination to continue his war against Palestinians in Gaza.

READ: Ex-Egypt envoy to Israel: ICC decision against Hamas leaders ‘unfair’