Israel Should Be ‘Commended’ for Saving Palestinian Lives on Gaza Border, Former UK Military Commander Tells UN Meeting
A former commander of British military forces in Afghanistan told the UN Human Rights Council on Friday that IDF troops should be commended for saving the lives of Palestinians during the violent rioting on the Israel-Gaza Strip border earlier this week.
“If Israel had allowed these mobs to break through the fence, the IDF would then have been forced to defend their own civilians from slaughter and many more Palestinians would have been killed,” Col. Richard Kemp told a special meeting of the UNHRC in Geneva on the Gaza clashes.
“Israel’s actions therefore saved lives of Gazans, and if this council really cared about human rights, it should commend the IDF for that, not condemn them on the basis of lies,” Kemp continued.
Kemp — who also served with the British army in Iraq and the Balkans, and is an expert in counter-terrorism strategies — accused Hamas of having “sent thousands of civilians to the front line — as human shields for terrorists trying to break through the border.”
He added: “I ask every country in this council: You have all been telling us that Israel should have reacted differently. But how would you respond if a jihadist terror group sent thousands to flood your borders, and gunmen to massacre your communities?”
The meeting also heard from Anne Herzberg of the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor. Noting that 50 of the 62 Palestinian fatalities during the violence were members of Hamas, she asked pointedly, “Why are we wasting everyone’s time, money, and focus on yet another Israel-bashing session?”
Said Herzberg: “This council barely has enough funding to hold its session in September. OHCHR staffers are repeatedly forced to take unilateral pay cuts. How many more times will this council be held hostage to Palestinian exploitation and diversion of this council’s attention?”
Arab and Muslim countries harshly criticized Israel during the session, which opened with a statement from UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who accused Israel of caging Gazans “in a toxic slum from birth to death.”