Speech made by Colonel Richard Kemp at the emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the deteriorating situation in Gaza on 18 May 2018
I commanded British troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland and served with NATO and the UN. I’ve come straight from the Gaza front line to share my assessment.
Based on what I observed, I can say that everything we just heard here is a complete distortion of the truth. The truth is that Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews everywhere, deliberately caused over 60 of its own people to get killed.
They sent thousands of civilians to the front line — as human shields for terrorists trying to break through the border. Hamas’s goal, in their own words, was, quote, ‘blood… in the path of Jihad’. 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?
Your failure to admit that Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt on the Gaza border encourages their violence and use of human shields. It makes you complicit in further bloodshed. 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.
Israel’s actions therefore saved lives of Gazans; and if this Council really cared about human rights, it should commend the Israel Defence Force for that, not condemn them on the basis of lies.