During last year’s Gaza war, Hamas did more to inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population than any other terrorist group in history, Colonel (ret.) Richard Kemp said on Monday.
Kemp was speaking at an alternative event in Geneva to reveal the failings of the UN report accusing Israel of "war crimes" in Gaza last summer. He was among a group of military, legal and Middle East experts who took part in the event, which was hosted by the Amuta for NGO Responsibility, the UN ECOSOC-accredited parent organization of NGO Monitor, together with UN Watch.
“Hamas deliberately positioned its fighters and weapons in civilian areas, knowing that Israel would have no choice but to attack these targets, which were a clear and present threat to the lives of Israel’s population,” he said.
Kemp stressed that the IDF made “unprecedented” efforts to save Palestinian civilian lives, including warning them to leave target zones.
Hamas, on the other hand, “forced them to remain in those areas,” he added. “Hamas sought to cause a large number of casualties among their own people in order to bring international condemnation against Israel, especially from the United Nations.”
It was Hamas, and not Israel as the UN says in its report, that caused thousands of civilians to be killed in Gaza, Kemp said.