Chip Roy demands sanctions on ICC officials going after US, Israel

House Republicans led by Reps. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Brian Mast, R-Fla., are pressuring the Biden administration to threaten sanctions against International Criminal Court (ICC) officials if the body goes after the U.S. or U.S. allies that do not fall under its jurisdiction.

It comes amid reports that the ICC is preparing warrants against top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over their handling of humanitarian aid in Gaza during the Middle Eastern nation’s war on terror group Hamas.

They’re leading a new bill to force President Biden’s hand called The Illegitimate Court Counteraction Act, along with 15 House GOP co-sponsors, including House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern, R-Okla.

According to legislative text obtained by Fox News Digital, it would force Biden to sanction an ICC-related entity or person ‘no later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act, if the International Criminal Court is engaging in any attempt to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute any protected person.’

‘The ICC is an illegitimate court that represents a massive threat to U.S. sovereignty. The Trump administration was right to impose sanctions on the associates of the ICC if they dare go after U.S. citizens, service members, or our allies,’ Roy told Fox News Digital. ‘Biden’s decision to reverse that policy was weak, embarrassing, and wrong.’

Roy said of reports that the ICC may target Israel, ‘If the ICC goes after our allies, there will be consequences.’

Israel is not under the ICC’s jurisdiction. The Palestinian territories, however, were admitted in 2015.

Mast said their bill sent a ‘clear message’ to the ICC, adding, ‘We may not recognize you, but you sure as hell will recognize what happens when you target America or its allies.’ 

Mast is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where the bill will have to advance before a possible House-wide vote. A U.S. Army veteran, he also previously served with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, accused the ICC of ‘a campaign to undermine the only democracy in the Middle East, while turning a blind eye to the numerous human rights atrocities committed by Hamas.’

‘This double standard is an abuse of power by the ICC and exposes their irrelevance,’ she said.

State Department deputy spokesman Vidant Patel would not confirm or deny whether the U.S. was aware of the ICC’s reported plans during a press briefing early last week, but he told reporters, ‘On this investigation, our position is clear. We continue to believe that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the Palestinian situation.’

Israeli officials are concerned that the ICC is preparing arrest warrants over Israel’s response to the Oct. 7, 2023, attack by the terrorist group Hamas, the New York Times reported last Monday.

Israel has been accused of blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza while waging a ground invasion and airstrike campaign in order to get Israeli hostages being held by Hamas back to their homes. But there’s been mounting criticism of Israel on the world stage over the severity of its response.

Netanyahu said on X last week in response to the report, ‘Under my leadership, Israel will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense.’

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