LETTER: Hamas to blame for conflict

Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel neglected to mention that it is Hamas who started this outright war against Israel’s civilian population.

Re: Church column, July 25

Rev. David Boyd quoted Rev. Naim Ateek of Sabeel who neglected to mention that it is Hamas who started this, now third, outright war against Israel’s civilian population.

It took three weeks of increasing frequency and further-reaching bombardments before Israel responded with intensity — only after the major Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva and Haifa sustained rocket hits. (What would we do?)

There have been no Jews in Gaza since September 2005 in a land for “peace” initiative which has resulted in years of Hamas terrorist rockets and missiles falling on the south of Israel where the citizens have 15 seconds to reach safe shelters and now these rockets are able to reach 75 per cent of all Israel. In Jerusalem they have 90 seconds. Palestinians of Gaza are not the terrorists; rather it is their elected terrorist government (Hamas) who puts them in harm’s way by firing from the midst of the civilian population (a war crime) into a civilian population (a war crime).

They have spent the humanitarian funding from other countries, not to help their people, but to build a major network of bunkers and tunnels from which to attack Israeli citizens. Their weapons and personnel are secured in these installations which exist under hospitals, private homes and even UN run and funded schools. Israel sends warnings by leaflet and phone calls and has called for evacuations of population before doing an operation. Israel has built a field hospital at the borders of Gaza.

It is Hamas who prevents their people from taking advantage of any of this, nor does Hamas provide any safe places for their people before starting yet another war.

I, too, greatly lament this terrible, and totally unnecessary carnage of innocent people. It is Hamas who has broken every one of the cease-fires in this current war, including one they asked for themselves. It is they who could end this catastrophe merely by putting down their arms.

One would wonder why Abbas and his Fatah government don’t use their influence to broker an end as they have recently formed a unity government with Hamas.

Carolyn Moore, Longbeach

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