Israel's conduct during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza was entirely legal and justified, a top general from the US Air Force stated Monday.
“The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC)," General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.), former Deputy Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM), stated.
Wald was one member of a task force which published its own report on Protective Edge as part of a Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) commission.
“This report follows the same pattern of the UNHRC’s Goldstone Report, which assessed the previous Gaza conflict, but which was later repudiated by Mr. Goldstone himself, as well as being widely discredited by experts in the laws applicable to war," Wald continued. "That is, this new report fails to account for the primacy of LOAC in regulating the conduct of combatants, and fails to accurately assess the gross violations of LOAC by Hamas, while inaccurately portraying the actions of the IDF as violations of international law."
“The task force study of this conflict found evidence that Hamas had violated LOAC by intentionally placing civilians in jeopardy to mask military initiatives," he added. "U.S. forces will increasingly see this unlawful behavior mimicked in future conflicts against hybrid, non-state forces embedded in urban environments."
“The international community should not accept this inaccurate and biased report and should instead rely on balanced and accurate reports that are authored by actual experts on how to conduct combat operations in accordance with LOAC.”
The UN report accused Israel of committing war crimes during the summer war, prompting outrage from Israeli officials, Jewish leaders, and military experts alike.