The Biden-backed US judge at the ICJ who voted in favor of ruling against Israel

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The US judge at the International Court of Justice, who President Joe Biden previously nominated to be a legal advisor to the State Department, voted in favor of Friday’s order for Israel to halt its offensive on Gaza’s Rafah.

Sarah Cleveland was nominated in 2021, but she was never confirmed. When elected as an ICJ judge last November, Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the court as a “guardian of international law.” And when announcing her candidacy, Biden had said the ICJ was one of humanity’s “most critical institutions to advance peace around the world.”

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How involved or how much the Biden administration knew about the ICJ’s decision remains unclear. But a previous ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week recommending the arrest of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, and leaders of Hamas was criticized by the Biden administration.

Friday’s decision by the ICJ came after South Africa brought forth a case accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians.

Read more: Hamas, countries react to ICJ’s order for Israel to halt Rafah assault in Gaza

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