June 22, 2015
Washington, D.C. - General Charles Wald, USAF (ret.), former Deputy Commander of United States European Command (EUCOM) and Chair of the JINSA-commissioned Gaza Conflict Task Force issued the following statement about the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report released on June 22, 2015:
"The UNHRC report on the Gaza conflict is unbalanced and fails to accurately assess which parties violated the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC).
"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 the 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.
"The task force study of this conflict found evidence that Hamas had violated LOAC by intentionally placing civilians in jeopardy to mask military initiatives. U.S. forces will increasingly see this unlawful behavior mimicked in future conflicts against hybrid, non-state forces embedded in urban environments.
"The international community should not accept this inaccurate and biased report and should instead rely on balanced and accurate reports that are authored by actual experts on how to conduct combat operations in accordance with LOAC."
The task force Gen. Wald led included: Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, USA (ret.), former Commander, U.S. Army North; Lieutenant General Richard Natonski, USMC (ret.), former Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command; Major General Rick Devereaux, USAF (ret.), former Director of Operational Planning, Policy, and Strategy - Headquarters Air Force; and Major General Mike Jones, USA (ret.) former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command.