Col. Richard Kemp
Col. Richard KempPhoto: Arutz Sheva

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British military forces in Afghanistan, praised the IDF for its success in avoiding civilian casualties during its operations against the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

In a video published to X (formerly Twitter), Col. Kemp spoke of the reported death tolls in Gaza, where Israeli sources have anonymously said that 5,000 Hamas terrorists have been killed out of a death toll of about 15,000, a ratio of one combatant casualty for every two civilians.

"Civilian casualties in combat are always devastating and tragic. But unfortunately, they're a feature of almost every war," Col. Kemp said. "Many times, I have seen the horror of civilian casualties despite the immense efforts the British army and our allied armies take to avoid them."

"The UN estimates that the civilian-to-combatant death ratio in conflicts since the Second World War averages nine to one. That is a shocking nine civilians killed for every combatant. That figure reflects the fact that it includes armies that have no regard for civilians. For example: The Syrian army, the Russian army, and the armies of other dictatorships," he said.

"Like the British, however, the Americans are very careful to minimize civilian deaths. In Iraq, estimates suggest US forces killed three civilians for every combatant. And in Afghanistan, between three and five to one.

"In previous conflicts in Gaza, the IDF has achieved a significantly more favorable casualty ratio, generally between 0.6 to one and two to one. It's still awful, but much better than most, if not all other armies engaged in combat," he said.

Col. Kemp pointed out that the IDF has managed to achieve these historically low combat ratios "despite the reality that Hamas fights from within the civilian population, use human shields, and deliberately try to force the IDF to kill as many of their civilians as possible. This is so the world turns on Israel and falsely condemns it for war crimes."

"With help from much of the media, the UN, and so-called human rights groups, it works every time, encouraging Hamas to do it again and again