Tuesday 20th at 21.00pm: "Is the Israeli army taking unprecedented measures to protect civilians in Gaza?"


John Spencer, an American urban warfare expert, has recently declared to Fox News that the Israeli army is taking measures without precedent to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians in the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, exceeding what most armies have done.

Spencer, who served for more than 25 years in the U.S. Army, chairs the Urban Warfare Study at Modern War Institute from West Point and is the author of numerous texts on the topic, highlights that Israel's actions to prevent civilian casualties would be "historic" compared to other conflicts.

Despite international criticism based on data provided by Hamas, which indicates over 28.000 deaths without distinguishing between civilians and combatants, Spencer highlights Israel's high standard in mitigating civilian harm. The Israeli army reportedly took unique measures, such as individually alerting people via calls and messages of impending airstrikes and sharing maps of military operations, actions not previously undertaken by other militaries, including the US.

Spencer criticized those who condemn Israel without a full understanding of previous conflicts or the laws of war, and mentioned the case brought by South Africa to the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza. You highlighted the general ignorance about urban warfare and the specifics of the Israeli conflict in Gaza, emphasizing the challenge of fighting in a unique context, marked by Hamas' use of tunnels under civil structures.

Spencer calls for greater understanding of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law, stressing that Israel is held to an unreasonable standard, never applied to others, and questions the effectiveness of current rules of war in the face of unprecedented challenges.

We discuss it Tuesday 20 February at 21.00pm with Gianpiero Spinelli and a direct witness of the intervention in Gaza: the reservist Henry Tkacz*.

* Brazilian-Israeli, he began his career in security and, at the age of 20, transitioned into compulsory military service for Israeli citizens. For 3 years he was part of a specialized infantry unit, with experience in Gaza and the West Bank, working in the third year as a diplomatic security officer in Europe.

He was head of security for the Belgian team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In Brazil he has participated in large projects with companies and governments in the intelligence sector, for the last 3 years as director of Kadima ICS, an Israeli consultancy firm with a branch in Brazil.

A reservist since 2018 in the IDF army, after the massacre of 7 October 2023 he left his family, work and projects and took a plane to Israel. He has 5 years of experience in the fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, more precisely in Al Burij and Khan Yunis.