UK Commander Slams World's Weak Response to 'Human Shields' for Causing Terrorists to Use Them More

Kemp: The international community -- national governments, world bodies such as the EU and UN, human rights groups and the media -- all take precisely the wrong response to the use of human shields. This has been nowhere stronger or more damaging than in relation to Israel and the Gaza conflict.

Instead of condemning the use of human shields by Hamas, the international community and media condemn Israel out of hand and often without any investigation or consideration of the reality. This plays absolutely into the hands of Hamas.

And the consequence of the international community's response? To further encourage the use of human shields by Hamas and by terrorists everywhere.

Hamas increased their use of human shields after each conflict when they saw the consequences of doing so.

Hezbollah have learned from Hamas's success, and have embedded 100,000 missiles pointed at Israel in the civilian communities of southern Lebanon.

By condemning and pressurising Israel rather than Hamas -- who are actually responsible for the vast majority of civilian deaths -- the international community has blood on its hands. This approach ultimately results in more human misery, suffering, and death.

The proper response to human shields is strong condemnation and sanction against anyone who uses them. The international community should not allow the use of human shields to pay.

In military terms, forces should not allow themselves to be deterred by the use of human shields. To do so again plays into the hands of the terrorists and encourages their further use of human shields, ultimately resulting in greater numbers of casualties. Of course they can't attack without consideration of civilian casualties and they have a duty to minimise civilian casualties in every situation. Under LOAC they must only ever risk inflicting civilian casualties when proportionate to the overall military gain.

If armed forces and politicians continue to allow themselves to be deterred from effective action by human shields, then their use will expand even further, and it will become impossible for Western forces to prosecute military conflict and to defend their countries and their interests. This is, of course, the terrorists' objective as well as the objective of many activists and supporters in the West.