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June 30, 2015 1:51 am

Former British Commander Kemp Says Mix-Up Cost Him UN Gaza War Commission Appointment

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British Col. Richard Kemp addresses the UNHRC, contradicting a recent report on the 2014 Gaza war.

British Col. Richard Kemp addresses the UNHRC, contradicting a recent report on the 2014 Gaza war.

The U.N. Human Rights Council approached the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan to join the panel for investigating the 2014 Gaza war, but his appointment never materialized.

“I was approached by the president’s office of the UNHRC and asked if I would take part in this commission and I agreed to,” explained Col. Richard Kemp during a debate at the U.N. on Monday over its recent report condemning potential war crimes by Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip including Hamas, during last summer’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge.

“I then was told I’d be hearing back soon confirmation. I heard no more, but subsequently I was told, by other sources, I had refused the appointment,” he said, adding that the mix-up was “obviously, unintentional confusion.”

Kemp’s appointment was meant to balance a panel that critics have said was biased against Israel and the Israel Defense Force’s actions during Operation Protective Edge, after high-profile British lawyer Amal Clooney declined the U.N.’s offer to join the commission.

Kemp read from the preliminary findings of the High Level International Military Group, which included five former chiefs of staff from major armies worldwide, that “none of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population in such circumstances.”

Kemp — who was present in Israel during the entire 2014 Gaza conflict and was a part of the high-level fact-finding mission (“I was the lowest level of the high level group,” he said)  — commended the IDF for practicing the restraint not to carry out “attacks against confirmed Hamas targets when they knew that civilians were present, even to the extent that Israeli Defense Forces restraint on attacking targets resulted in the deaths of Israeli citizens during that conflict.”

He also slammed Hamas, saying the group “did more to deliberately and systematically inflict death suffering and destruction on its own civilian population, including children, than any other terrorist group in history.”

He said Hamas sought to cause large numbers of casualties among their own people to bring about international condemnation, especially by the U.N.

By “denying this truth, this report faithfully reiterates Hamas’ own forces narrative,” he said.

Also speaking at Monday’s debate was U.S. Maj. Gen. Michael Jones, the former chief of staff of U.S. central command, who participated in the JINSA Task Force on the Gaza Conflict, a separate report on the 2014 operation.

He warned that the Gaza war provided further evidence that non-state actors have increasingly gained the military capabilities available typically to states alone: a standing army that is well trained and well equipped and that operates on a doctrine both published and promulgated, and contains specialized organizations for intelligence-gathering and logistics.

Jones like Kemp and others on Monday harangued Hamas, saying the group “habitually violated international law,” through indiscriminate rocket fire and storing weapons in places with a civilian presence, “without military necessity.”

He challenged the conception that storing weapons near civilian homes or institutions is necessary by Hamas and other groups because of Gaza’s high population density, saying there are certainly areas where weapons could be stored, or even launched, “that are not next to a U.N. compound.”

Lt. Col. Geoffrey S. Corn, the Presidential Research Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law, noted Hamas’ flagrant violation of the rules of engagement, such as not requiring its fighters to wear identifying markers, such as a uniform, making many fighters virtually indistinguishable from the general population.

He said Hamas went out of its way to fly in the face of the rules of engagement to complicate Israeli attacks, making it more likely that the IDF would cause civilian casualties thus bolstering Hamas’ standing internationally.

He also derided the U.N. commission for failing to integrate the testimonies and opinions of any military experts, save one unidentified source.

He also warned that relying on the consequences of the Gaza operation, such as bombed houses or civil institutions, rather than attempting to perceive IDF actions within the context of a live battlefield, would embolden Hamas but vindicating the group’s tactics.

The Human Rights Council is set to vote on adopting the report, at which point it would be sent to an international organization such as the U.N. General Assembly, the Security Council or the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Israel — which refused to cooperate with the commission on its investigation — has called on members of the UNHRC to oppose the report or refrain from voting on it.

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  • steven L

    It is all about Taqiyya. Colonel Kemp is no dupe/fool.

  • nelson marans

    If you believe that Richard Kemp accidentally was not included in the UNHRC mission to investigate the Gaza war, then you are an excellent candidate to buy the Brooklyn bridge. There was no mistake nor any error in the failure of the UNHCR to include an unbiased and knowledgeable individual on that terminally anti-Israel body.

  • brenrod

    ““I then was told I’d be hearing back soon confirmation. I heard no more, but subsequently I was told, by other sources, I had refused the appointment,” he said, adding that the mix-up was “obviously, unintentional confusion.”

    It is obvious that the perennially corrupt UN made sure that he would not participate. It is time that the corruption is wiped out in the UN and the EU. I suggest supporting an influx of honor killers to europe so as to create a euro version of arab spring. 50% of gazans want togo but cant afford the 10K, I suggest a clandestine subsidy to fulfill their dreams, and mine.. win win for all but the perennial existential enemy of the Jews.

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  • atilla

    ” adding that the mix-up was “obviously, unintentional confusion.” ”

    I think he meant ” intentional confusion “……

  • What is the plan of Israel to the only one jewish genius

  • “We are tired of hearing anything from anyone associated with the U.N. The U.N. is a parasitic and criminal enterprise dominated by our mortal enemies. The U.N. cannot create states, it can only recommend and so can other nations only recommend and not create a state that never existed before in history.” Israel was reinstituted in its historical land and other Arab State were legally assigned their territory under International treaties and laws agreed to by the Allied powers after WW1 after the Ottoman Empire ceded its ownership to the Allied powers.

    There is nothing to negotiate or talk about. Any Arab-Palestinian that does not want to live under Israel’s government and obey the laws must transfer to Jordan or to the 75,000 sq, miles, the land the Arab countries confiscated from the million persecuted and expelled jewish families. Negotiations are over, there is nothing to negotiate, the Arabs who live in Israel must comply and adhere to the laws of Israel or leave the country permanently.

    Judea and Samaria is Jewish territory – No annexation is required for Greater Israel territory..
    Let me pose an interesting scenario. If you had a country and it was conquered by foreign powers over a period of time. After many years you have taken back you country and land in various defensive wars. Do you have to officially annex those territories. It was always your territory and by retaking control and possession of your territory it is again your original property and there is no need to annex it. The title to your property is valid today as it was many years before.
    Annexation only applies when you are taking over territory that was never yours to begin with, just like some European countries annexed territories of other countries.
    YJ Draiman

    • Tom Wood

      I’m liking you theory…. I’ve long since made a parallel argument on the Falkland islands. They were British since before the state of Argentina existed. So 1 how can Argentina claim them , and 2 why did the Brits f
      Take so much abuse from Spanish speaking countries for liberating the British people who live there. The UN has done some good over the years but its becoming a joke on some subject. I don’t agree entirely with the Israeli line but some of the complaints against them are rediculus.

      Isn’t all land stolen at some point tho if you look far back enough. almost anywhere in the world counties have come and gone, borders moved. Sometimes peacefully sometimes by force. It’s been going on since humans learned to make weapons.

    • Cal Simon

      Thank you for your succinct and true historical truths, unblemished by political correctness. Everyone should read your comments.

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