The crisis in Gaza

Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 02:00

Sir, – The rather naive solution to the conflict in Gaza offered by Prof John Kelly (Letters, July 24th) leaves one speechless. It demonstrates a partisan approach to the conflict, rooted in disregard for the facts and characterised by double standards. Israel kills civilians and it is committing war crimes, Hamas fire rockets indiscriminately into Israel to kill and maim and uses civilians in Gaza as shields and it is merely defending itself. 

The “root cause” of the terrible situation in Gaza would not be addressed by granting the people of both Palestine and Gaza the right to have their own governments and to travel within and out of their territories. While the two-state solution is the only viable long-term one, the root cause of failed negotiations is Hamas and its refusal to recognise, and exist alongside, the state of Israel.

The Hamas charter categorically rejects the two-state solution, a position promoted by Hamas officials but conveniently ignored by most critics of Israel. Hamas does not want to coexist; first and foremost it wants to see the destruction of the state of Israel. Israel has a right to exist and defend itself and while it is tragic that civilians in Gaza are suffering, a significant proportion of responsibility and blame for the death toll must rest with Hamas.

To claim that Hamas’s actions are “more minor” also shows ignorance and a total disregard of the suffering experienced by most Israelis. This is not a one-sided conflict. The fact that fewer Israelis have been killed is not due to “ineffective” rockets but largely to Israel’s capability to protect itself and the value it places on life. Perhaps it would be more agreeable to many critics of Israel if the body count there was much higher.

Hamas has proven time and time again that it has little regard for the welfare of the people of Gaza. There is ample evidence that it is using hospitals, residential areas and schools as platforms for attacks but I see very little condemnation from the media, the UN or those groups who claim to have the welfare of Palestinians at heart. I find it ironic that Prof Kelly calls for a recognition by Israel to afford the same “freedoms” to the Palestinians. Hamas administers Gaza through terror, corruption and intimidation with little regard for life, equality and religious tolerance. Until this is addressed the battles will indeed continue. – Yours, etc,