Col. Richard Kemp: Israel Achieved Tremendous Success in Gaza
Contrary to the claims of Hamas that it achieved great victory in its battle with Israel in Gaza, a former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan who also worked in the British Prime Minister’s office says it was precisely the opposite: it was Israel that achieved tremendous gains in the battle and obtained exactly the results it wanted, and Hamas leaders are “running for their lives.”
Col. Richard Kemp, who traveled to Israel as Operation Pillar of Defense commenced, wanted to see events up close and personal in order to provide an objective analysis. Kemp is the same man who investigated the bogus claims of the infamous Goldstone Report, which claimed Israel had committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. As well as being on expert on Gaza, Kemp has 30 years’ counter-terrorism experience and an intimate knowledge of the Israeli defense and intelligence organizations from his stint in the UK Prime Minister’s office.
I think it’s a tragedy that [Operation Pillar of Defense] had to happen, but after 1,000 missiles being fired from Gaza into the Israeli civilian population over the last year and a build-up of 120 in a short period of time, I don’t think the Israel Defense Forces had any other choice other than to mount the operation.
Noting the accuracy of Israeli intelligence in targeting the leaders of Hamas and that out of 177 Gazans killed, 120 were terrorists, he continued,
Every civilian casualty is a great tragedy, but unfortunately when you’re fighting an enemy like Hamas which uses the civilian population to shield itself, this is an unfortunate outcome and the only other choice is to allow them to carry on hammering the rockets into Israel.
Kemp compared Israel’s successful attacks on the Hamas leaders to the U.S. and the UK’s against Al-Qaeda terrorists:
I think that the targeted killing of Hamas’s leadership has done untold damage to Hamas. Hamas talks big now, it’s talking victory, but actually it’s been very severely damaged: both their leadership and also their munitions. I believe that Israel has accomplished the mission it set out to achieve. I know there’s a lot of dissatisfaction that Hamas has not been dealt an absolutely fatal blow but I don’t think that was ever Prime Minister Netanyahu’s objective. He could have gone on to obliterate Hamas but that would’ve taken a lengthy and extremely costly ground campaign.