More than 15 months have passed since the end of the conflict in Gaza between Israel and the terrorist outfit Hamas, but the campaign of slander against Israel and witch-hunt against the members of its armed forces still continues. Last week British authorities briefly detained a retired IDF reserves officer, apparently based on a list compiled by a “pro-Palestinian group” of soldiers involved in alleged ‘war crimes’ during last year’s Operation Protective Edge. The officer was held for questioning for hours and was only released after Israeli Foreign Ministry intervened.

British authorities have since apologized for the incident, but this once highlights how anti-Israel groups are subverting the laws in the West in an attempt to strip Israel of its right to defend itself in the face of terror.

The incident took place just days after a fact-finding group comprising of military experts from around the world published their report on the 50-day clash between Israel Defense Force (IDF) and militant islamist outfit Hamas in Gaza. Around 14 high-ranking military officers came together to form the High Level Military Group (HLMG) earlier this year. Former head of India’s Defence Intelligence (DG DIA) Lt. General Kamal Davar was accompanied by former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp, along with other top military commanders from U.S., Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

According to the group’s findings, “Israel’s conduct in the 2014 Gaza Conflict met and in some respects exceeded the highest standards [the army commanders] set for [their] own nations’ militaries.” The report described IDF’s Operation Protective Edge as an “exemplary campaign, adequately conceived with appropriately limited objectives, and displaying both a very high level of operational capability as well as a total commitment to the Law of Armed Conflict.”

The report also highlighted the nature of threat Israel faced in form of Hamas:

In addition to the rocket fire, Hamas boasted in official media about its ability to terrorise Israeli civilians through its cross-border infiltration tunnels.35 These did indeed in many cases lead to Israeli villages, violating Israeli sovereignty and posing a serious threat to its civilians. Additionally, Hamas constructed and used a large network of combat tunnels in Gaza itself to facilitate its military activity. These were deeply embedded in civilian infrastructure, with entrances deliberately located within or near civilian sites such as residential houses or sensitive sites including mosques and medical facilities. [Page 38]

The equally damning part of the report dealt with United Nation, questioning the neutrality of some of the UN agencies operating in Gaza:

Hamas made extensive use of UN sites, as confirmed by the UN Secretary General’s Board of Inquiry, and the HLMG was briefed on several instances that raised serious questions about the relationship between Hamas and certain UN bodies. [Page 46]

The 80 page report concludes that Israel’s IDF preferred to save civilians in Gaza even at a substantial cost to its operational capabilities to hit back at terrorist infrastructure of Hamas. If saving lives on both the sides was part of IDF’s ethos, dead Gazans were part of Hamas’ war plan:

It is our assessment that the procedures the IDF deploys in order to give prior warning of an attack are extensive and well conceived. It is evident to us that they are a major effort aimed at ensuring Israel is able to mitigate the effects of Hamas’s tactic of hiding its infrastructure in civilian locations. Not only do Israel’s warnings clearly save lives, but they further telegraph to enemy operatives who are legitimate military targets what Israel’s intentions are and thus create a major tactical cost for the IDF. [Page 36]

The document talks about the suffering that Hamas brought upon its own people, saying, “A large majority of the casualties and damage to infrastructure could have been averted if Hamas had acceded to the terms it accepted on August 26 [2015] a few weeks earlier.” Furthermore, “Hamas’s and other armed Palestinian factions’ fire at the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings, deliberately impeding the transfer of humanitarian supplies. Over 200 mortars were fired at the Erez crossing by armed groups in Gaza during the conflict, causing fatalities, injuries and delays in the provision of humanitarian supplies.”

And yet Hamas had no dearth of helpers in the West. The reports pointed towards “ideological motivations” driving the actions of United Nations, Amnesty International, NGOs as well as parts of international media who came out in condemnation of Israel without having any “appropriate military and legal expertise and judgement.”

The authors of the report realise the wider implications of the ‘Lawfare’ (legal and institutional warfare) directed against Israel by these powerful multinational actors influencing policy and opinion across the world. As democracies around the world face the rising threat of Islamist terror, these tactics may well be used to disarm the nations of the Free World engaged in asymmetric wars against an enemy who has no regard for the rules of warfare, or for the sanctity of human life on either side.

PragerU Video: Colonel Richard Kemp talks about Israel’s IDF

(Cover image courtesy Israel Defense Force, YouTube screenshot)