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May 10, 2024 | Press Releases

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking to politically target Israel for rightfully defending itself from terrorists seeking its destruction following the October 7, 2023 atrocities committed by Hamas. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to President Joe Biden urging him to strongly oppose the ICC’s efforts to politically target Israel and fully implement the American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-206), which gives the President broad authorities to respond to these types of actions by the ICC. 

  • “Since October 7th, Israel has exercised its right under international law to self-defense in response to an armed attack. Israel has taken significant actions to protect Palestinian lives as Hamas uses civilians as human shields. It is outrageous that the ICC would make a political calculus to target Israel, which only further undermines the Court’s legitimacy…”

Joining Rubio and Rosen were Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).

The full text of the letter is below. 

Dear Mr. President: 

We write following reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is on the verge of issuing arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials. We are deeply concerned about the ICC’s efforts to politically target Israel and respectfully urge you to forcefully counter this judicial overreach to protect our ally and American interests. 

On October 7, 2023, Hamas broke a ceasefire with Israel when it slaughtered over 1,200 Israelis, making it the deadliest day in history for Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas committed mass rape and sexual violence, murdered babies, kidnapped hundreds of hostages, including American citizens, and refused to return victims’ bodies to their families. The brutal killings were depraved and left anyone with a conscience in total shock. 

As your administration has affirmed, the ICC does not have jurisdiction over this matter, as Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction. ICC rules prohibit the Court from prosecuting cases against the citizens of a country with an independent judicial system. As a democratic country with a robust judicial system, including a military justice system, Israel is capable and has proven its ability to carry out its own proceedings. Moreover, since October 7th, Israel has exercised its right under international law to self-defense in response to an armed attack. Israel has taken significant actions to protect Palestinian lives as Hamas uses civilians as human shields. 

It is outrageous that the ICC would make a political calculus to target Israel, which only further undermines the Court’s legitimacy and undercuts efforts to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Under the American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-206), the President is granted broad authorities to respond to these types of actions by the ICC, and we urge you to fully implement the law should the Court move forward with action against Israel. It is critical that you strongly oppose the ICC’s efforts to target Israel and stand firmly with Israel in the face of the Court’s overreach. 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

Sincerely,