An ad hoc committee of Western former military chiefs and political officials said on Friday that Israel acted within the bounds of international law in prosecuting last summer’s war in Gaza.
The panel, which is known as “the High Level International Military Group,” issued preliminary findings over the weekend clearing the Israeli military of war crimes charges and accusations of deliberately targeting civilians during the 50-day Operation Protective Edge.
“We were well aware of the allegations made by some governments, the United Nations, human rights groups and the media, that Israel acted outside the laws of armed conflict in Gaza,” the group said in a statement which was published by UN Watch, a pro-Israel advocacy organization. “Some have suggested that the IDF lacked restraint or even deliberately targeted innocent civilians.”
After its fact-finding mission, which included high-level meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and other members of the IDF high command, the organization found that it was Israel which was dragged into the conflict against its will.