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42 House Dems support sanctions on International Criminal Court over arrest warrant for PM Netanyahu

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Forty-two Democrats joined most Republicans in the 247-155 vote on Tuesday to approve legislation to sanction the International Criminal Court (ICC) in response to its pursuit of arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Politico reported.

A further two Republicans abstained. The legislation does not have the support of the Biden administration, which has said that “[t]here are more effective ways to defend Israel, preserve U.S. positions on the ICC, and promote international justice and accountability,” according to Fox News.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court last month announced he would seek arrest warrants for Netanyahu and various Israeli and Hamas leaders in connection with the ongoing conflict.

“This bill is a message to the world that we will not sit by and watch a globalist ‘court’ interfere with Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Florida GOP Rep. Brian Mast, who authored the bill. “There are still six Americans held captive by Hamas in Gaza and we must support Israel in its fight to bring them home.”

 

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International

VP Kamala Harris publicly mourns Palestinians killed in hostage rescue operation

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Vice President Kamala Harris mourned the Palestinians in Gaza who were killed in the successful Israeli hostage rescue operation this weekend during an address delivered over the weekend.

Israeli forces say Hamas intentionally kept the hostages in a “civilian environment.” They also said even the Palestinians who were holding the hostages were also “civilians.”

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari of the IDF said Hamas has been holding hostages inside civilian buildings, including the locations where Israeli forces rescued Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Shlomi Ziv, 41, and Andrey Kozlov, 27.

“Before I begin, I just say a few words about the morning which I know weighs heavily on all of our hearts,” she said.

“On Oct. 7, Hamas committed a brutal massacre of 1,200 innocent people and abducted 250 hostages,” she continued. “Thankfully, four of those hostages were reunited with their families tonight. And we mourn all of the innocent lives that have been lost in Gaza, including those tragically killed today.”

The Israeli operation retrieved four hostages who were taken into Gaza by Hamas on Oct. 7. Harris, speaking before the Michigan Democratic Party, celebrated their retrieval but spent more time lamenting the deaths of Palestinians killed in the operation, many of whom Israel has described as terrorists.

“We have been working every day to bring an end to this conflict in a way that ensures Israel is secure, brings home all hostages, ends ongoing suffering for Palestinian people and ensures that Palestinians can enjoy their right to self-determination, dignity and freedom,” Harris added. “As President Biden said last week, it is time for this war to end.”

Fox News reports that Hamas-run authorities in Gaza claim over 270 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli operation, though they make no distinction between militants and innocents. Israeli forces claim the number was fewer than 100.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan also confirmed reports on Sunday that some number of innocents appeared to have been killed in the operation.

“We the United States are not in a position today to make a definitive statement about [the death toll],” Sullivan said in a Sunday interview with CNN. “But we do know this: innocent people were tragically killed in this operation. The exact number we don’t know, but innocent people were killed.”

“Every day that we see more innocent people lost is another horrible, awful, tragic day,” he added.

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