Hamas guilty, not Israel. Important to read –
A multinational military group visited Israel and Gaza to investigate claims of war crimes during last summer’s Gaza conflict and concluded that Israel did everything it could to prevent civilian deaths. Hamas, on the other hand, committed various acts that would be considered war crimes.
The High Level International Military Group, made up of 11 former chiefs of staff, generals, senior officers, political leaders and officials from the US, Australia, Germany, the UK, Holland, Spain, Italy and Colombia, came to Israel last month for a five-day fact-finding mission, led by General Klaus Naumann, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
According to the key preliminary findings the group presented to the UN’s Human Rights Council, they were “granted a level of access to the Israeli government and Defence Force that has not been afforded to any other group.”
Recognizing that some governments and UN members allege Israel committed war crimes during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge, the group stated, “Our findings lead us to the opposite conclusion.” The group determined that Israel “sought to avoid the conflict and exercised great restraint,” employing “a series of precautionary measures to reduce civilian casualties…in some instances costing, Israeli lives.”
Hamas, on the other hand, followed a policy that targeted Israeli civilians and put its own civilians in harm’s way. The report noted rocket fire aimed at civilian centers, including Ben Gurion International Airport; the construction of tunnels under the border for attack purposes; the positioning of munitions and military forces among Gazan civilian populations; using civilians as human shields; and the prevention of civilian evacuations, saying, “these actions clearly amount to war crimes.”
“Our overall findings are that during Operation Protective Edge last summer, in the air, on the ground and at sea, Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard. We saw clear evidence of this from the upper to the lower levels of command. A measure of the seriousness with which Israel took its moral duties and its responsibilities under the laws of armed conflict is that in some cases Israel’s scrupulous adherence to the laws of war cost Israeli soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.”