What follows is a researched and documented narrative of the 2014 Gaza war. While written from an Israeli perspective, this is not a document intended to negate criticism of Israel’s actions during the war or improve Israel’s image in the eyes of the world.
It has but one goal: to relate the truth as it happened; a truth obfuscated by the fog of war and lost in the immediacy of reportage from the battlefield; a truth perverted by those who had interest in doing so, and abused again by the one-sided mandate issued by the UN Human Rights Council on July 23, 2014, which calls for an investigation into events surrounding the war in the “Occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and particularly the occupied Gaza Strip” – blind to the fact that Israel was the target of thousands of rockets and mortar attacks, all against civilian populations, and with some targeted Israeli areas having three times the population density of Gaza.
There is a school of thought that claims Israel wanted this war. The opposite is true. But, though this was a war Israel did not want, it was a war for which it had planned meticulously, thereby denying Hamas its main weapon: victimhood. Though the images of the moment may have reflected massive damage in Gaza, the truth is that America’s highest-ranking military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, announced in November 2014 that he had sent a Pentagon study group to Israel to learn about the “extraordinary lengths” Israel had undertaken to “limit collateral damage and prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza conflict.”
And it was a war that inadvertently preempted a terrorist massacre against Israel’s heartland, principally through a network of sophisticated tunnels built deep under the border, and intended to stream hundreds of dedicated terrorists, many on suicide missions, in the quiet of night, to destinations where they could kill as many innocent people as possible, and leave Israel mauled as never before.
These are the essential truths of the 2014 Gaza war, truths backed by research, evidence, and accounts of events as they happened. The chapters of this study can leave no doubt as to which party should be in the dock for war crimes and crimes against humanity. More importantly, however, it rings a bell of warning that if Hamas is allowed to escape its crimes, the seeds of the next conflict will be planted.
Hirsh Goodman Dore Gold