Gaza probe 'operational' without Alamuddin

By the Associated Press | August 12, 2014 | 4:35 PM EDT

FILE - The June 12, 2014 file photo shows Amal Alamuddin, human rights lawyer and fiancee of US actor George Clooney, as she attends the 'End Sexual Violence in Conflict' summit in London. Alamuddin has been chosen for the U.N.'s three-member commission of inquiry looking into possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza, United Nations Human Rights Council said Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

GENEVA (AP) — The president of the U.N. top human rights body says the commission on possible violations of the rules of war in Gaza is "operational" despite the decision by British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin to pull out of the panel.

Alamuddin, who is engaged to marry George Clooney, decided she couldn't accept the role a few hours after she was appointed as one of three commissioners, said Gabon Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella, who presides over the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Alamuddin, an expert on human rights, was among a number of people that Ndong Ella approached as potential candidates, he said Tuesday, adding that he will later decide "on how best to support and strengthen" the commission.

Ella said he regrets the commission will not benefit from Alamuddin's expertise in the field.