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‘You have been warned’: GOP senators caution ICC over Israeli arrest warrants

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A dozen Republican senators have warned the International Criminal Court against issuing arrest warrants for Israeli officials over the nation’s conduct during the war in Gaza.

In a letter led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the senators warn ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan, citing reports that the court may be considering issuing international arrest warrants against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

Such actions are “illegitimate and lack legal basis,” the lawmakers wrote, warning they would result in severe sanctions against Khan and the ICC.

“Target Israel and we will target you. If you move forward with the measures indicated in the report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and associates, and bar you and your families from the United States,” the senators wrote in the letter sent April 24.

“You have been warned,” the letter concluded.

Other signers include Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Katie Britt, Kevin Cramer, Ted Budd, Ted Cruz, Bill Hagerty, Pete Ricketts, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Tim Scott.

In the letter, they also blasted the ICC for not issuing arrest warrants for controversial leaders including Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, or Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Last year, Cotton, Cruz and Rubio introduced a bill to sanction ICC officials who investigate or prosecute U.S. troops and allies who don’t recognize the court’s authority, such as Israel.

Last week, conservative lawmakers, including Speaker Mike Johnson, urged the Biden administration to demand that the court refrain from targeting top Israeli officials as it probes war crime allegations during the conflict in Gaza.