An international group of military leaders have concluded following a months-long investigation that Israel lived up to the "highest standards" set by any nation during its 2014 conflict in the Gaza Strip.
After examining the Israeli Defense Forces military practices and methods to protect Palestinian civilians, it concluded that "Israel’s conduct in the 2014 Gaza Conflict met and in some respects exceeded the highest standards we set for our own nations’ militaries," according to a copy of the recently published report.
"It is our view that Israel fought an exemplary campaign, adequately conceived with appropriately limited objectives, displaying both a very high level of operational capability as well as a total commitment to the Law of Armed Conflict," the report states.
"The IDF not only met its obligations under the Law of Armed Conflict, but often exceeded these on the battlefield at significant tactical cost, as well as in the humanitarian relief efforts that accompanied its operation."
The terror group Hamas, on the other hand, violated multiple international rules of war and intentionally placed civilians in harms way, according to the report published by the High Level Military Group, an organization comprised of top military leaders from multiple Western nations.
"Hamas in turn not only flagrantly disregarded the Law of Armed Conflict as a matter of course as part of its terrorist-army hybrid strategic concept, but rather it abused the very protections afforded by the law for military advantage," the report found.
"Embedding its entire military machinery in civilian locations and sensitive sites, including those of the United Nations, Hamas indiscriminately targeted Israeli civilians throughout the conflict with extensive rocket fire and willfully sought to draw the IDF into battle in a prepared urban stronghold amid the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, for which it located its operational headquarters in Gaza’s main hospital," it states.
Israel, in fact, went so far in its efforts to protect Palestinian civilians that it may have compromised the effectiveness of its military action against Hamas.
"The actions and practices of the IDF to prevent collateral damage were so extensive, over and above the requirements of the Law of Armed Conflict, that they would curtail the effectiveness of our own militaries, were they to become constraining norms of warfare enacted in customary law," the report states.