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Amal Clooney speaks at the United Nations in 2018 wearing a red suit.

Amal Clooney Backs ICC Arrest Warrant Applications for War Crimes in Israel and Palestine

International law and human rights barrister Amal Clooney has published a report supporting the International Criminal Court’s applications to arrest both Israeli and Hamas leaders for crimes committed in Israel and Palestine.

 

What does that mean exactly?

Well, Amal was part of an expert panel which provided advice to the ICC prosecutor, Karim Khan, relating to crimes committed either on the territory of Palestine or by a Palestinian national since at least October 7. The panel – some of the biggest names in the humanitarian law world including former ICC judges and legal experts – unanimously endorsed the Prosecutor’s assessment that the Court not only has jurisdiction over the case but also, that there are reasonable grounds to believe Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant have committed various war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Some of those crimes include hostage-taking, murder, using starvation as a weapon of warfare and extermination.

Basically, this is the first step needed to arrest the five of them so they can face the Court.

 

Why is Amal involved in this?

In a statement, Amal explains: “More than four months ago, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asked me to assist him with evaluating evidence of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Gaza. I agreed and joined a panel of international legal experts to undertake this task. Together we have engaged in an extensive process of evidence review and legal analysis including at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

Her message continues, “I served on this Panel because I believe in the 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.”

 

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So what happens now?

Today, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan has announced he is filing the applications for the warrants of arrests. Once this happens, then it is up to the independent judges of the ICC to decide whether the necessary standard for the issue of the warrants has been met. If so, the next step would be to apprehend the five named individuals and bring them to court.

In his statement, the Prosecutor has said this is not by any means the end of the arrest warrant applications as investigations are ongoing.

 

Want to learn more about what’s going on?

See here for Amal Clooney’s full statement.

See here for the Panel’s op-ed in the Financial Times.

See here for the Panel’s Legal Report.

See here for the Statement of the ICC Prosecutor, Karim Khan.

 

(Feature Image Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com; the photo is from a 2018 speaking event at the United Nations)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.