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'Remarkable achievement,' says former British commander, praising IDF military performance during Jenin operation

Several international organizations, including the United Nations, condemned Israel for the operation

IDF soldiers during Operation Home and Garden in Jenin (Photo: IDF)

During and after the completion of Operation Home and Garden last week, the United Nations and various international organizations issued condemnations against Israel.

UN Sec.-Gen. Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” at the start of the counter-terrorist operation.

Guterres’ spokesperson issued a statement saying, “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the developments in Jenin. He affirms that all military operations must be conducted with full respect for international humanitarian law.”

A UN expert panel, which included Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese – well known for her anti-Israel positions – said that Israel’s operation in Jenin amounts to "egregious violations of international law and standards on the use of force and may constitute a war crime.”

The panel accused Israel of killing “at least 12 Palestinians, including five children” in its statement, but failed to mention that the five “children” were armed teenagers associated with terror groups and that they were killed in armed conflict with Israeli soldiers.

The UN regularly accepts and uses the figures reported by the PA's Health Ministry but does not publish the Israeli military's clarifications or statements challenging PA figures and claims.

The United Arab Emirates requested a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the “Middle East situation.”

During the operation, the IDF and Shin Bet security agency uncovered and destroyed several operational command centers that the terrorists had been using for planning attacks, as well as several weapons production and storage facilities.

Israeli forces found and destroyed hundreds of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the necessary chemicals and components for manufacturing them.

Additionally, the IDF discovered tunnels used for hiding and storing weapons under a mosque with known ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization.

British Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of the British military forces in Afghanistan, and a long-time defender of the IDF praised its performance in Jenin, calling it a “remarkable achievement.”

“To conduct an operation of such intensity in an urban area without killing any uninvolved civilians at all is a remarkable achievement by the IDF and probably unprecedented in modern warfare,” Kemp told Israel's Arutz 7 news.

“Casualty ratios in most such operations have often been 3 to 5 civilians killed for every fighter, and that is by Western armies that do their best to avoid civilian casualties and adhere to the laws of war," said Kemp, who is experienced in urban combat after serving in Afghanistan.

“I doubt any other army in the world would be able to achieve what the IDF did in Jenin,” he added.

Kemp pushed back strongly against the condemnation the IDF received from the international community following the Jenin operation.

“Guterres is wrong to accuse the IDF of using disproportionate force as the facts very clearly show. Proportionality in warfare only refers to the killing and wounding of innocent civilians in relation to the military objective. No innocent civilians were killed. We don’t know how many uninvolved civilians were wounded by IDF fire, but the death rate strongly indicates that IDF action was the opposite of disproportionate.”

Responding to Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff, the European Union (EU) representative to Palestinian Authority-assigned territories, who called the IDF operation a “violation of international law”, Kemp said, “Burgdsdorff needs to explain which international laws were violated by the IDF. The IDF used no weapons or tactics in Jenin that are banned under international law.”

International law actually compels Israel “to exercise law enforcement in these areas because the Palestinian Authority security forces, which are supposed to deal with these threats, will not or cannot do so despite millions of dollars invested in them,” Kemp said, adding that global leaders are displaying their anti-Israel bias when criticizing Israel for defending itself.

“Israel does not just have the right to act with force to protect its citizens, it has a duty to do so, as would every other country in the world. All of these accusations against Israel show the double standards that are consistently applied.”

Kemp said that “false and unjust comments" like the ones "made against the IDF in Jenin, incite violence against Israelis and Jews around the world.”

He said comments also “encourage Palestinian terrorists and their Iranian sponsors, who can see that their tactics intended to vilify and isolate Israel are working.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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