Amal Clooney played key role in ICC arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Hamas leaders

Amal Clooney, wife of actor George Clooney, was among the experts who advised the International Criminal Court (ICC) in seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar over alleged war crimes.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, asked Clooney, 46, to assist him with evaluating evidence of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and the Gaza Strip, where Israeli military forces have been operating since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

“I agreed and joined a panel of international legal experts to undertake this task,” Clooney, an attorney, said in a lengthy statement on the Clooney Foundation for Justice website. 

 The ICC determined that it has jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed by Sinwar, top Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, and military commander Mohammed Deif, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.


“We unanimously conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including hostage-taking, murder and crimes of sexual violence,” Clooney wrote of the panel’s determination.

She cited Israeli war crimes of “starvation as a method of warfare, murder, persecution and extermination.”


“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,” she wrote.

“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 added. 

Her husband is a well-known supporter of President Biden. The Biden campaign enlisted George Clooney as well as actress Julia Roberts and former President Obama for a star-studded fundraiser in Los Angeles next month.

George Clooney will appear in social media posts and digital ads in support of President Biden.

Amal Clooney was joined on the panel by legal experts in international humanitarian and criminal law. Two members are former judges at criminal tribunals at The Hague.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu called the ICC’s decision the latest example of “what the new antisemitism looks like.”

“It is directed against the IDF soldiers, who are fighting with extraordinary heroism against the vile Hamas murderers who attacked us with terrible cruelty on Oct. 7,” Netanyahu said in an English-language statement.

“What a travesty of justice! What a disgrace!” he wrote.

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