The Biden administration condemned the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to investigate Israeli war crimes in the occupied Palestinian Territories on Wednesday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement that said the US “firmly opposes” the ICC opening a case into what he called the “Palestinian situation.” He accused the court of “unfairly” targeting Israel.
The ICC investigation is expected to focus on the 2014 Gaza war and the Gaza border protests that took place from 2018 to 2019. The court said it is investigating alleged war crimes of both the Israeli government and Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza.
In the 2014 war, thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed in Israeli airstrikes. Later, in the border protests, known as the Great March of Return, 183 demonstrators were shot and killed by Israeli snipers. Thousands more were wounded, including children, disabled people, journalists, and paramedics.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the ICC decision, calling it “pure antisemitism.” Netanyahu reportedly asked President Biden to keep sanctions on the ICC that were imposed by the Trump administration.
President Trump hit ICC employees, including Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, with economic sanctions and travel restrictions over an ICC investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan. Like most Trump-era sanctions, the ICC ones are still in place.