Top US general: Israel protected civilian lives in Gaza

Chairman of Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey says IDF went to ‘extraordinary lengths’ to save innocents; America studying methods

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Times of Israel — Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to prevent civilian casualties during this summer’s conflict in the Gaza Strip, the top US military leader said Thursday.

“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a forum at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City.

“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,” he added, according to Reuters.

The Hamas tunnels “caused the IDF some significant challenges,” Dempsey said. “But they did some extraordinary things to try to limit civilian casualties, to include… making it known that they were going to destroy a particular structure.”

Dempsey listed Israel Defense Forces measures such as the “roof-knocking” and the dropping of warning leaflets as part of their attempts to protect civilian lives.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,” Dempsey argued.

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