Unprecedented Civility In Conflict: U.S. Expert Hails Israel's Unwavering Efforts To Protecting Gazan Civilians

By Javier Sanchez | Sunday, 18 February 2024 08:30 AM
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As the conflict between the Israeli military and the Islamist terror group Hamas in Gaza continues to escalate, one of the leading urban warfare experts in the United States has commended Israel for its extraordinary efforts to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians.

John Spencer, Chair of the Urban Warfare Studies Modern War Institute at West Point, emphasized that Israel's approach to preventing civilian casualties sets a new standard that surpasses the practices of most other militaries in history. Spencer, a former major in the U.S. military with over 25 years of service, highlighted the remarkable steps taken by Israel to safeguard civilians amidst the ongoing conflict.

"Israel has taken more steps to avoid harming civilians than any other military in history," Spencer stated in an interview with Fox News Digital. He noted that the measures implemented by Israel go beyond what is typically seen in warfare, demonstrating a commitment to minimizing civilian harm that is unparalleled.

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The current conflict, which has been ongoing for four months, has seen intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. As Israel prepares for a significant battle in Rafah, a city in the southern part of the Strip, Spencer underscored the unprecedented nature of the steps taken by the Israeli military to protect civilians.

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"Israel is setting the bar very high on civilian harm mitigation steps," Spencer remarked. He pointed out that Israel's efforts, such as providing advance warning to civilians about military operations and sharing maps outlining planned maneuvers, represent a level of precaution that is rarely seen in warfare.

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Spencer highlighted the unique approach taken by Israel, including the use of phone calls and text messages to alert individuals about impending airstrikes. He noted that such proactive measures, aimed at ensuring the safety of civilians, deviate from traditional military strategies that prioritize surprise attacks.

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Despite facing criticism and scrutiny over the conflict, Israel has remained steadfast in its commitment to minimizing civilian casualties. Spencer praised Israel for its transparency and efforts to protect civilians, even at the expense of sacrificing tactical advantages.

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Reflecting on his observations during a recent visit to Israel, Spencer expressed astonishment at the extent of the precautions taken by the Israeli military. He noted that providing civilians with detailed maps of military operations, a practice uncommon in warfare, exemplifies Israel's dedication to upholding humanitarian principles in the midst of conflict.

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Spencer also addressed the misconceptions and misinterpretations surrounding the Gaza conflict, particularly in the international community. He criticized those who fail to grasp the complexities of urban warfare and the challenges faced by Israel in combating Hamas, a group known for exploiting civilian infrastructure for military purposes.

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In discussing the legal and ethical dimensions of the conflict, Spencer emphasized the importance of understanding the context in which Israel operates. He highlighted the unique threats posed by Hamas, including the use of underground tunnels beneath civilian areas, which present a distinct challenge for the Israeli military.

As the conflict in Gaza continues to unfold, Spencer called for a more nuanced and informed approach to assessing Israel's actions. He urged a deeper understanding of the complexities of modern warfare and the legal frameworks that govern armed conflicts, emphasizing the need to recognize the unprecedented challenges faced by Israel in its efforts to uphold humanitarian standards.

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