I am writing in response to Michael Paul’s letter (“Look deeper at Hamas and its actions”), which appeared in The Telegram on Saturday, Aug. 2.
Paul has once again taken liberty with the truth regarding the Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.
Israel’s apologists would have us believe that this is a war between two evenly matched combatants, each representing separate and equal governments.
The reality is that the Palestinians in Gaza have been living under Israeli blockade since 2007 in what aid workers and human rights watchdogs have called the world’s largest open-air prison, with Israel controlling air and sea-space as well as the population registry.
These Palestinians are unable to leave to seek medical aid, education or even to visit other family members — a particularly acute injustice, considering many of them are refugees from other parts of historical Palestine.
To speak of tunnels without speaking also of the circumstances that necessitate them is disingenuous.
More than 1,700 Palestinians, 80 per cent of whom are civilians, including hundreds of children, have been killed, many in UN shelters that were previously demarcated to Israeli forces by aid workers on multiple occasions.
These are war crimes by any measure, but perpetrated against an occupied population to which Israel owes additional protection, they are unconscionable.
No measure of obfuscation can disguise Israeli responsibility for these crimes, nor the widespread support in Israel for the ongoing brutalization of the Palestinian people.
The road to a permanent and just peace in the Middle East can only proceed through recognition of the humanity and the rights of all people in Israel and Palestine.