Amal Clooney played key part in ICC Netanyahu arrest warrant

Clooney had previously been criticised for her silence on the war on Gaza [Getty]

British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Clooney announced that she had played a key role in a report that calls for arrest warrants for senior Israeli and Hamas officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC), following months of silence over the war on Gaza.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice issued a press release on Monday confirming that Clooney was part of a team of legal experts supporting ICC arrest warrants against Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders for crimes in Israel and Palestine.

It comes after ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan said that he believes they could be responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity since the war on Gaza broke out on 7 October, confirming that he is seeking arrest warrants for the figures.

Clooney’s team said she was part of six-person legal panel, which – along with two academic experts – recommended arrest warrants being issued by the ICC against Netanyahu and Gallant for the use of starvation as a weapon of war, intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population, extermination and/or murder, among other potential war crimes.

The report also said it had reasonable grounds to believe that Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh were also responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity including extermination and murder as a crime against humanity.

Clooney had faced months of criticism for her silence on the war on Gaza, which has killed at least 35,562 people, with supporters of the Palestinian cause saying she should do more to highlight the injustices in Gaza.

The publication of the ICC report on Monday revealed Amal Clooney’s name on the list of legal experts, leading to an outpouring of with praise for the lawyer.

“I fully take back criticism of Amal Clooney for not speaking publicly about Gaza,” wrote one person on X, formerly Twitter. “She couldn’t as she was involved with the proceedings.”

“For all those who were cussing out Amal Clooney for not speaking up about Palestine. She was working overtime doing the hard work to bring these criminals to account. Prime reason why you should make 70 excuses for someone,” wrote another.

Clooney was born in Beirut in 1978 with her family moving to the UK two-years-later due to the Lebanese civil war. 

Since then she has made a name as one of the foremost international legal experts, working on the Yazidis’ genocide case against the Islamic State group, working on behalf of embattled Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, and other human rights issues.

She co-founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice with her husband George Clooney, to hold perpetrators of mass atrocities accountable for their crimes and empower victims.

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