Preface

Preface

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

Hirsh Goodman established the program on media strategy at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. He was a former military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report and a strategic fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Amb. Dore Gold

Ambassador Dore Gold has served as President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs since 2000. From June 2015 until October 2016 he served as Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN (1997-1999), and as an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Executive Summary
Preface
by Hirsh Goodman and Amb. Dore Gold
Israel’s Narrative – An Overview
by Hirsh Goodman
Telling the Truth about the 2014 Gaza War
by Amb. Dore Gold
Israel, Gaza and Humanitarian Law: Efforts to Limit Civilian Casualties
by Lt. Col. (res.) David Benjamin
The Legal War: Hamas’ Crimes against Humanity and Israel’s Right to Self-Defense
by Amb. Alan Baker
The Limits of the Diplomatic Arena
by Amb. Dore Gold
Hamas’ Strategy Revealed
by Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
Hamas’ Order of Battle: Weapons, Training, and Targets
by Lenny Ben-David
Hamas’ Tunnel Network: A Massacre in the Making
by Daniel Rubenstein
Hamas’ Silent Partners
by Lenny Ben-David
Gazan Casualties: How Many and Who They Were
by Lenny Ben-David
Key Moments in a 50-Day War:
A Timeline
by Daniel Rubenstein
About the Authors
Hamas Video: Depicting the End of Israel
Hamas Video: Infiltrating Israel from a Tunnel
View: Hamas on the March
Video: Hamas’ Terror Tunnels
Map: Cross-Border Tunnels Uncovered
Video: Attack by Hamas Frogmen
Chart: Number of Rockets Fired from Gaza Each Day
Video: IDF Thwarts Hamas Infiltration into Israel
Video: U.S. Military Praises Israel for Efforts to Avoid Civilian Casualties
When Does a Civilian Structure Become a Legitimate Military Target?
Video: Abbas Blames Hamas for Needless Loss of Life
View: IDF Leaflets Provide Gazans with Evacuation Instructions
Maps: Israel’s Response Concentrated on 3-Km. Border Zone
View: Hamas’ Use of Civilians as Human Shields
Palestinians Killed by Hamas' Errant Rockets
Fraudulent Claims of Civilian Deaths
View: Hamas Staged Casualties at UNWRA School
View: Hamas Execution of Civilians
Chart: Proportion of Civilians Killed in Recent Wars Fought by Western Armies
Poster: Brothers in Arms: Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad
View: Hamas Poster Featuring Osama Bin Laden