Col Kemp gave oral evidence in Geneva in early December 2018 and submitted this report to the Commission of Inquiry.Click here to read the full text
Smoke & Mirrors: Six Weeks Of Violence On The Gaza Border
Hamas’s use of actual smoke and mirrors to conceal its aggressive manoeuvring on the Gaza border is the perfect metaphor for a strategy that has no viable military purpose but seeks to deceive the international community into criminalising a democratic state defending its citizens. In reality these demonstrations are far from peaceful and do not pursue any so-called ‘right of return’. Rather they are carefully planned and orchestrated tactical operations by a terrorist organisation intending to break through the border of a sovereign state and commit mass murder in the communities beyond, using their own civilians as cover.
Hamas are explicitly planning to achieve maximum violence at the Gaza border on either the 14th or 15th May, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the declaration of the State of Israel, the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the start of Ramadan — a perfect storm.
A new report by the HLMG's Colonel Richard Kemp (United Kingdom), former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and international terrorism lead at the UK’s Joint Intelligence Committee, is the most in-depth assessment of the evolution of Hamas' strategic concept in its war on Israel.
As part of the High Level Group’s ongoing project to assess the impact of Western armies facing enemies deploying terrorist tactics, including deliberate war crimes such as hiding military personnel and infrastructure among a civilian population, Colonel Kemp has spent time on the Gaza border during the current spate of violence, observing Palestinian activity and IDF response.
The report is based on his observations as well as a review of material produced by both sides and by the international community, and discussions with Israeli government ministers and IDF commanders and lawyers. Colonel Kemp’s views are though entirely his own, drawn from extensive personal experience of commanding military forces dealing with similar situations in other combat areas, including use of terrorist tactics in riot situations and military response using a range of measures including lethal force.
A delegation of the High Level Home Front Group met with senior EU officials to discuss their findings related to what European nations can learn from Israel's experience with the domestic terror threat in Brussels on June 28th 2017. A public event to present their findings took place at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Lawfare, the abuse of international norms and procedures and the judicialisation of international institutions to attain strategic goals that cannot be achieved by political and military means, has become a common feature in modern conflicts. It has evolved into a new weapon in the hands of our enemies seeking to constrain and limit the ability of Western armies to pursue our national security interests.
The High Level Military Group (HLMG) was formed in early 2015 with a mandate to address the implications for Western warfare of fighting enemies who disregard the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) but exploit our own nations' adherence to LOAC for their gain.
HLMG members have a wealth of experience at the very highest operational and policy levels as regards the conduct of warfare and its attendant policies.
Our purpose is to add a professional military and legal element to debates about warfare in the 21st Century, which at times have been ill-informed and politicised, and which are of vital importance to our own armies and alliance partners.