"It has almost been one year since the start of the Gaza-Israel border uprisings that left 189 Palestinians dead in a monthslong rash of violent demonstrations demanding an end to the blockade on Gaza and the right to return to their lands. To mark the March 30 anniversary, a three-person U.N. war crimes investigation team, as part of a Commission of Inquiry (COI), has released a report indicating that Israeli security forces committed possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, and this week called on Israelis to prevent snipers from using lethal force against demonstrators.
However, Israel supporters and U.N. critics have this week blasted the leading human rights body and the report for failing to illuminate alleged Hamas war crimes – in particular, the widespread and illegal use of human shields.
'Since the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas (has) used civilians as human shields for its own fighters. Similar tactics were successfully adopted by Hezbollah against Israel in their 2006 conflict,' Lt. Gen Richard Natonski, a retired U.S. Marine and member of the Hybrid Warfare Task Force at the Jewish Institute for National Security America (JINSA), told Fox News. 'The use of human shields in combat is contrary to Western thinking and the law of armed conflict. It's hard to imagine how this wasn't mentioned in the U.N. report, except for perhaps a certain bias by the authors of the report against Israel.'
JINSA has issued its own report, 'Defending the Fence: Legal and Operational Challenges in Hamas-Israel Clashes,' to counter the U.N. report's narrative.
'Hamas systematically violates international law by purposely using Gazan Palestinian civilians as human shields for attacking Israel, provoking Israeli actions that would lead to civilian casualties, and attacking Israeli civilians indiscriminately,' the JINSA report stated, underscoring that the COI's report both 'undermines the international legal regime it seeks to enhance and sets a precedent encouraging Hamas and similar armed groups to double down on these illegal tactics.'..."