Dec. 27, 2019
ICC Accusations Against Israel Are Outrageous – Col. Richard Kemp
The ICC prosecutor accuses Israel, during the 2014 Gaza war, of using disproportionate force, willfully killing and injuring civilians, and intentionally attacking protected individuals and locations. She also alleges that the IDF committed war crimes against Gazans violently attempting to breach the border into Israel in 2018 and 2019.
I was present during these conflicts, witnessed, and was extensively briefed on IDF operations. I was a member of an investigation into the 2014 Gaza war by the High Level Military Group, an independent body of retired generals from Western armed forces and human rights experts. The group unanimously concluded that: “The IDF not only met its obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict, but often exceeded these on the battlefield.”
Gen. Martin Dempsey, at the time Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, commented: “Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties.” My first-hand observations during the Hamas-instigated Gaza border violence in 2018-19 echo these assessments.
The allegation that Israel committed war crimes by transferring parts of its civilian population into occupied territory can only be described as outrageous. The West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza are not “occupied territories.” The suggestion that willing tenancy on this land by Jews is intrinsically illegal sees the ICC prosecutor adopting the Nazi concept of Judenrein, cleansing an area of Jews.
Despite situations where such crimes have actually occurred, including Northern Cyprus and Crimea, no prosecutions for war crimes in this category have ever been brought against anyone. Special treatment is reserved for the Jewish state. The writer is a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan. (Jerusalem Post)