In an expert opinion by dozens of leading international law experts from Israel and around the world, at the request of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum headquarters, it was determined that the actions of Hamas are crimes against humanity and constitute war crimes; The expert opinion also stated that "As these widespread, horrendous acts appear to have been carried out with an “intent to destroy, in whole or in part” a national group – Israelis - they most probably constitute an international crime of genocide”.
The expert opinion is signed by senior experts from the world's leading universities - including Oxford, Harvard, King's College, and Columbia University, as well as Israel's leading international jurists.
The experts come from many countries such as the USA, Britain, Germany, Poland, and Israel.
The expert opinion states, among other things, that "the taking of hostages is defined as a war crime" and that "Hamas must provide under international law information regarding the hostages, including their medical condition, and provide them with the necessary medical care".
Among the signatories of the expert opinion:
• Prof. Irwin Cotler, McGill University, former Canadian minister of justice
• Prof. Kai Ambos, Universität Göttingen
• Prof. Eyal Benvenisti, Chair the Lauterpacht Institute, Cambridge University
• Prof. Claudio Grossman, American University, Washington, member of the international law commission
• Prof. David Luban, Georgetown University
• Prof. Luis Moreno Ocampo, Sao Paulo University, former ICC prosecutor
• Prof. Sean D. Murphy, George Washington University, member of the international law commission
• Prof. Anne Peters, head of Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Heidelberg
• Prof. Steven Ratner, University of Michigan
At this stage, this is only an initial list of signatories, in the coming days additional experts are expected to join the long list of signatories.
Those leading the initiative are the legal advisors of the Families Headquarters for the Return of the Kidnapped and Missing, Adv. Raz Nazri and Adv. Dan Eldad, with the assistance of Prof. Yuval Shany, Prof. Amichai Cohen, Dr. Tamar Hostovsky Brandes.