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Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney’s fiancee, to serve on UN Gaza panel

Amal Alamuddin, a high-profile British-Lebanese lawyer, will serve on a commission looking at possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.
Lefteris Pitarakis/AP File
Amal Alamuddin, a high-profile British-Lebanese lawyer, will serve on a commission looking at possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza.

GENEVA (AP) — The UN’s three-member commission on possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza will include the increasingly high-profile British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is engaged to George Clooney, and a Canadian legal expert whose appointment is already drawing fire.

The president of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council announced the appointments Monday. Alamuddin is a London-based international law specialist and former legal adviser to the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Canada’s William Schabas, an international law professor at Middlesex University, will chair the commission. Also tapped was Doudou Diene of Senegal, a lawyer who has filled UN posts on racism and human rights in Ivory Coast.

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Gabon Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, who presides over the UN’s top human rights body in Geneva, said the commission would investigate all violations of international humanitarian and human rights law according to the council’s July 23 resolution and report back in March 2015.

The Geneva-based advocacy group UN Watch called on Schabas to recuse himself from the commission because of prior statements critical of Israeli leaders. The group’s executive director, Hillel Neuer, also questioned whether the UN is ‘‘trying to inject some Hollywood publicity into the process’’ by appointing Alamuddin.