Blinken denounces ICC request for arrest warrants

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has denounced the decision by the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants over the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The ICC chief prosecutor said on Monday that he is requesting arrest warrants for five people, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas' leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, for alleged war crimes and other offenses.

Blinken testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

He said the ICC prosecutor's decision is "totally wrongheaded" on many levels, and that the implied equivalence between Hamas and the leadership of Israel is "shameful."

Blinken said, "We have to look at the appropriate steps to take to deal with" the ICC's decision.

US President Joe Biden on Monday reiterated his support for Israel. He said the ICC's application for arrest warrants is "outrageous."

The US is not a member of the ICC.

Former US President Donald Trump's administration imposed sanctions on the court's then-chief prosecutor for authorizing an investigation into US soldiers' activities in Afghanistan.

The Biden administration lifted the sanctions.