Amal Clooney Calls for War Crime Arrests of Benjamin Netanyahu, Hamas Leaders Because No ‘Perpetrator Should Be Above the Law’

Amal Clooney revealed Monday that she sat on a panel of experts that consulted for the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s arrest warrants of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders.

“I served on this panel because I believe in rule of law and the need to protect civilian lives. The law that protects civilians in war was developed more than 100 years ago and it applies in every country in the world regardless of the reasons for a conflict. As a human rights lawyer, I will never accept that one child’s life has less value than another’s. I do not accept that any conflict should be beyond the reach of the law, nor that any perpetrator should be above the law. So I support the historic step that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has taken to bring justice to victims of atrocities in Israel and Palestine.”

Clooney – an international law and human rights lawyer – was previously subject to online flak for months while being quiet about her stance on the Israeli-Hamas war. Monday’s statement revealed where her focus had been. She sat on an eight-person panel beginning in January to help prosecutor Karim Khan determine if his arrest warrants for the above met the I.C.C.’s standard.

The panel voted unanimously that there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that those listed committed the crimes listed including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“My approach is not to provide a running commentary of my work but to let the work speak for itself. I hope that witnesses will cooperate with the ongoing investigation. And I hope that justice will prevail in a region that has already suffered too much.”

Read Clooney’s full statement via social media below.

Clooney is a barrister at Dougherty Street Chambers in London, which specializes in human rights. She’s also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School and a founder of the Clooney Foundation of Justice alongside her husband, actor George Clooney.

Weighing in on the ICC’s conclusions on Monday, famed journalist Christiane Amanpour noted, “In response to criticism about seeking arrest warrants for both Hamas and Israeli leaders, the ICC tells me its mandate is solely focused on putting victims at the same level … equivalence of victim, not alleged perpetrator.”

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