Analyst David Bedein of Israel Resource Review writes that a January, 2010 “United Nations’ Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict” clears allied coalition forces of culpability for civilian casualties in their war with Taliban in Afghanistan. Bedein notes that the UN report reveals its dual standards in assigning military culpability to Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War and in Operation Cast Lead in 2009:
The UN report explained that the Taliban frequently attacked coalition forces in densely populated areas and did not blame the United States army or its allies for deaths of civilians who were non combatants who live near the areas from where Taliban launched its attacks, using the civilian areas as a collective human shield.
The UN Afghanistan report stands in stark contrast to a recent report issued by a United Nations’ Human Rights Council’s investigative team, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, …which conducted an inquiry into Israel’s January 2009… military incursion into the Hamas- ruled Gaza Strip.
[Instead of blaming Hamas for its systematic use of civilians as human shields when attacking Israel, the Goldstone report instead blamed Israel for the deaths of non-combatants when defending itself.]
In direct contrast to the Goldstone Report from the same United Nations, the UN holds the Taliban terrorists directly responsible for collateral deaths in Afghanistan, at the same time that the UN alleges that Israel engages in “intentional attacks against the civilian population and civilian objects,” even though Hamas terrorists openly use homes, schools, hospitals and mosques as their protective place of operation…
Significantly, more non-combatants have been injured or killed in Afghanistan by allied troops than by IDF forces in Gaza.
Former British commander in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, told the BBC that he did “not think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more effort to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the [Israel Defense Forces] is doing… in Gaza.”
Using human shields and fighting from structures with non-combatant status such as mosques, schools and hospitals are both clear war crimes. Hamas does that for 2 reasons: 1) to make it harder for Israel (who apparently cares more for Arab civilians than the Hamas fighters hiding behind them) to fight Hamas, and 2) to get Israel blamed for causing the inevitable civilian deaths. As long as the UN, the media, and others continue to reward Hamas by playing along and blaming Israel for Hamas’ despicable behavior it is certain to continue.