Amal Alamuddin, a British human rights lawyer who was named to the United Nations panel that will investigate Israel’s alleged “war crimes” in Gaza, has rejected the role - but not because she is pro-Israel.
According to the Telegraph, the 36-year-old Oxford graduate, who is also engaged to Hollywood actor George Clooney, turned down the president of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council’s appointment, saying she had “other commitments”.
"I was contacted by the UN about this for the first time this morning," she said, according to the Telegraph.
"I am honored to have received the offer, but given existing commitments – including eight ongoing cases – unfortunately could not accept this role," added Alamuddin.
“I am horrified by the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, particularly the civilian casualties that have been caused, and strongly believe that there should be an independent investigation and accountability for crimes that have been committed,” she added.
"I wish my colleagues who will serve on the commission courage and strength in their endeavors," said Alamuddin.
Several weeks ago, the UNHRC decided to launch an investigation into the IDF's operations in Gaza. The decision to launch an inquiry was made shortly after UNHRC chief Navi Pillay said that there is a "strong possibility" that Israel was violating international law through Operation Protective Edge.
The Prime Minister’s Office slammed the UNHRC’s decision, saying it is “a travesty and should be rejected by decent people everywhere".
Other members of the commission include Canada's William Schabas, an international law professor at Middlesex University, who will be the chair, and Doudou Diene of Senegal, a lawyer who has filled UN posts on racism and human rights in Ivory Coast.
Responding to the naming of the members of the panel, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the inclusion of Schabas was in itself proof that the panel is anti-Israel.
"The results are known in advance," a Foreign Ministry official said on Monday night.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor added, "If any further proof was required, the appointment of the chairman of the committee, whose views and positions against Israel are known to all, proves beyond any doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from such a body, and that the panel’s report has already been written and all that is left is to determine who will sign it.”