A new report on last summer’s Gaza war praises Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties.
The report, titled “2014 Gaza War Assessment: The New Face of Conflict,” was commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and featured a task force of several retired American military officials-headed by General Charles Wald, former deputy commander of the United States European Command-as well as several legal and international affairs experts.
According to the report, Israel “systemically applied established rules of conduct that adhered to or exceeded the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) in a virtually unprecedented effort to avoid inflicting civilian casualties, even when doing so would have been lawfully permitted, and to satisfy the concerns of critics.”
Describing Hamas as having the “hybrid” capabilities of a non-state force equipped with advanced weapons, the report slammed the Gaza-based Palestinian terror group for endangering civilians and manipulating the international community to apply pressure on Israel “to terminate legitimate defensive military action.”
The report praised the IDF for taking “extraordinary and innovative methods” to minimize civilian casualties, including: “maximizing the use of precision-guided munitions; selecting the lowest acceptable yield explosives; warning civilians with leaflets, text messages, telephone calls and radio transmissions to leave a defined area of operations or to seek shelter; assisting with the evacuation of civilians; firing smoke and illumination rounds prior to the use of explosive munitions in order to encourage civilian evacuation; and most notably, dropping a small, non-lethal explosive at an unoccupied corner of a structure to provide a ‘knock on the roof’ warning of an impending strike.”
Israel’s military restraint “unintentionally empowered Hamas to distort both law and facts” to the “ultimate detriment of civilians’ safety,” the report stated.