Thursday, November 15, 2018

A Journalist notices Israel's restraint in Gaza

It was a rare moment of journalistic integrity.

On Twitter, Raf Sanchez, Middle East correspondent for the Telegraph, wrote:

"We got a sense of how careful Israel was to avoid civilian casualties during the airstrikes in Gaza. The Israeli army called one guy we met and spent 45 mins on the phone with him, getting him to evacuate his neighbours, before they blew up a Hamas media building next to his."

 Israel's painstaking efforts to avoid civilian casualties have been well documented

In the 2014 report  2014 Gaza War Assessment: The New Face of Conflict, Israel's IDF was praised for its restraint and its effort to limit civilian casualties:

The IDF executed a number of extraordinary and innovative methods to mitigate civilian risk. These measures included: 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. The IDF implemented unprecedented precautionary measures with full knowledge that they often would degrade the efficacy of an attack by allowing evacuation of military personnel, equipment or munitions. 

In an event organized by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York, after the 2014 Gaza war,   General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking military officer in the United States confirmed this, stating “ ... Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties."

In this asymetrical war, where Hamas considers every Israeli man, woman and child a legitimate target,  Israel's restraint in Gaza is nothing short of remarkable.

No comments: