U.S. Gen. Charles Wald, the leader of a task force of retired senior U.S. military officers who studied and reported on the 2014 Gaza War, issued a statement Monday denouncing the U.N. Human Rights Council’s report on that conflict.
He claims that the report is unbalanced and uneducated, referring to other, similar reports, which have been shown to be faulty in the past.
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"The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict," Wald said.
He continued, saying that the report represents faulted research, led by researchers who are not experts in military law, saying, "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 laws applicable to war.
"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."
Wald closes his statement by warning that this oversight of Hamas’ violations of the rules of war, by using civilian human shields specifically, will provoke other non-state combatants to mimic Hamas’ behavior.
"The task force study of this conflict found evidence that Hamas had violated LOAC by intentionally placing civilians in jeopardy to mask military initiatives," Wald said. "U.S. forces will increasingly see this unlawful behavior mimicked in future conflicts against hybrid, non-state forces embedded in urban environments."