The top US military commander says the United States is learning from Israel’s tactics on how to limit civilian casualties in a war, despite the international outcry over the regime’s brutality in Gaza.
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that the Pentagon has sent a team to see what lessons could be learned from the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza on how to limit civilian casualties.
Dempsey said the Pentagon had sent the team of senior officials and non-commissioned officers three months ago “to include the measures they took to prevent civilian casualties and what they did with tunneling” in US military operations.
He claimed the Israeli military went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in the 50-day Gaza war.
The remarks came as the recent war has been widely condemned by the international community over the killing of civilians including women and children. Even, the White House criticized Israel for causing “indefensible and unacceptable” deaths during the war.
Dempsey blamed the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Hamas, for creating what he called “very nearly a subterranean society,” referring to the Palestinian defense infrastructure.
“In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” the general said during an appearance at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York.
He praised the so-called roof-knocking technique as some of the measures used by the Israeli military to avoid civilian casualties. The technique involves dropping a low-yield explosives device on the roof of a building before launching a full-blown attack.
The technique was criticized by rights groups over its ineffectiveness in warning civilians. The groups say it can kill residents of a building instead of making them leave it.
The Israeli regime launched its war on Gaza on July 8 and later expanded its military campaign with a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.
At least 2,140 Palestinians were killed during the recent Gaza war, mostly civilians. During the operation, Israel even attacked UN-run schools, prompting the Amnesty International to condemn Israel’s “callous indifference” to the carnage caused by attacks on civilian targets.