Three House Republicans from New York wrote a letter Tuesday imploring the Biden administration to prevent the ‘sham prosecution’ of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli government officials by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes. 

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, R-N.Y., spearheaded the letter co-signed by House GOP Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Marcus Molinaro, R-N.Y. to President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken citing ‘incredible concerning reports’ that the ICC plans to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and several senior officials within the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). 

‘As the Israeli government continues its military operations in the Gaza Strip with the goal of wiping out the terrorist group Hamas, the United States must remain steadfast in its support of our greatest ally,’ D’Esposito, Stefanik and Molinaro wrote. ‘You both must ensure that any error, like your abandonment of Israel at the United Nations Security Council in March 2024, is not repeated when dealing with these accusations.’ 

Critics charged Biden with abandoning Israel and the hostages taken by Hamas amid the administration’s failure late last month to veto a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a cease-fire, putting further strain on the administration’s relationship with America’s closest ally in the Middle East. 

‘Any misguided attempt by the ICC to prosecute leaders of the Israeli government in the midst of that nation’s justified defensive war against Hamas terrorists would be extraordinarily troubling, and I am calling on President Biden and the entire administration to do everything possible to defend our Israeli allies and demand the ICC investigate the proponents of the Oct. 7 terror attack,’ D’Esposito said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

Tuesday’s letter notes that the ICC has never been recognized by any presidential administration and neither the United States nor Israel have ever been a part of the court empaneled in The Hague, Netherlands. 

‘If the Court does decide to move forward with these sham prosecutions, based on accusations leveled by terrorist organizations and corrupt foreign governments,’ the three Republicans from New York warned ‘there must be consequences’ and called on the Biden administration to ‘consider the harshest punishments for those involved with this prosecution if they do move forward.’

‘The leadership of our greatest ally stands falsely accused of war crimes, ranging from disproportionate force to deliberately starving the Palestinian civilians within the Gaza Strip,’ the letter says. ‘These accusations cannot be further from the truth. The civilian casualty ratio reported during these ongoing operations in the Gaza Strip is one of the lowest in any instance of urban warfare. That remains true even if you believe the figures coming from the Gaza Health Ministry.’ 

The lawmakers said Israel has attempted to allow ‘as much well-vetted humanitarian aid in as possible under the current security situation, accompanied by direct aid deliveries from the United States and our allies’ and asserted ‘with attacks by terrorist groups within Gaza on the humanitarian aid pier being constructed by United States military personnel, the ICC should consider who really does not want aid reaching the civilian population.’

‘There must not be any false equivalencies made between Israel and the barbaric terrorist organizations like Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the other members of the Palestinian Joint Operations Room who directly targeted and massacred Israeli civilians on October 7th, 2023,’ the letter says. ‘In its operations in the Gaza Strip, Israel has attempted to minimize civilian casualties. In their terrorist attacks in Israel, members of the Palestinian Joint Operations Room did everything possible to maximize civilian harm.’ 

Esposito, Stefanik and Molinaro told the Biden administration that the United States ‘must continue to pressure the ICC to prevent any of these warrants being issued for members of the Israeli government.’ 

‘The ICC’s time and resources would be much better spent prosecuting the leadership of terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, who sit in lavish apartment blocks in Qatar, far away from the conflict, whose members have been well documented engaging in war crimes on October 7th,’ the letter says. ‘If they do decide to move forward with these arrest warrants, it is our hope that the administration will stand with our ally Israel, reject any attempts to execute these warrants, and enforce severe consequences on those engaged in this sham prosecution. We look forward to a prompt reply and immediate action.’ 

The letter comes as Israeli officials grow increasingly concerned that the ICC could issue arrest warrants against them as the Jewish state continues its more than six-month-long war against Hamas.

The ICC was established in 2002 as the permanent court of last resort to prosecute individuals responsible for the world’s most heinous atrocities — war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression. The U.N. General Assembly endorsed the ICC, but the court is independent.

Without a police force, the ICC relies on member states to arrest suspects, which has proven to be a major obstacle to prosecutions, according to The Associated Press. 

Netanyahu said Friday on the social platform X that Israel ‘will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense.’ 

‘While the ICC will not affect Israel’s actions, it would set a dangerous precedent,’ he wrote.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said late Sunday that it had informed missions abroad of ‘rumors’ that the court could order the arrest of senior Israeli political and military officials. 

Fox News’ Benjamin Weinthal and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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