Sanders Supports ICC Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders

Staff report

BURLINGTON, Vt. — May 20, 2024

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed strong support Monday for the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to seek arrest warrants for leaders of both Hamas and Israel in connection with alleged war crimes during the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

“The ICC prosecutor is right to request arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli leaders who are credibly accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Sanders said in a statement. “The world community must uphold international law.”

Sanders emphasized that international law should be applied universally, citing other conflicts as examples. “Whether it’s Putin’s war crimes in Ukraine, Hamas’ barbaric terrorism in Israel, or Netanyahu’s use of starvation as a weapon of war – no one is above the law,” he said. He also called on the United States to consistently uphold this principle.

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan continued high-level discussions in Israel regarding the Gaza conflict. Sullivan met with Israeli officials, including Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant and Chief of Defense Herzi Halevi, to discuss military operations and alternative approaches to counter Hamas in Rafah. Sullivan reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and the release of hostages held by Hamas.

In separate meetings, Sullivan emphasized the importance of reopening the Rafah crossing and ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid throughout Gaza. He underscored the need for effective mechanisms to protect humanitarian workers delivering aid.

On the Palestinian side, Sullivan met with PLO Secretary General Hussein Al Sheikh and PA Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa. Discussions focused on a potential hostage deal, increasing humanitarian aid, and the new Palestinian government’s reform agenda. Sullivan commended the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to maintain stability in the West Bank.

President Joe Biden also weighed in on the ICC’s actions, condemning the arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. “The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” Biden said. “There is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.”

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