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Letter: Palestinians’ suffering is all too real

Smoke rises after Israeli missile strikes hit the northern Gaza Strip.
Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in the northern Gaza Strip. — Associated Press file photo

I write regarding Mike Fegelman’s Jan. 20 letter, “Jews’ claim to Israel is rock solid.”

Make no mistake, there’s no “dispute” about how the Palestinian people have a legitimate historical, legal and ancestral claim to the land of Palestine, having lived there uninterrupted for three millennia.

Palestinians are indigenous and sovereign to Palestine. Why does Mr. Fegelman deny Palestinian rights to self-determination in their historic homeland?

If Mr. Fegelman is really concerned about the “cruel and inhumane treatment” of Palestinians, he should place the blame at the footsteps of a brutal occupation.

In Gaza, the Israeli Army — one of the best equipped in the world — imprisons the inhabitants with a blockade controlling the air, land and sea, denying the free movement of goods and people, a crime as stated by the Fourth Geneva Convention. As a result of this medieval siege, the World Bank has warned that by the year of 2020, Gaza will be unfit for human habitation. Even Israel Defense Forces generals are deeply concerned by the tragedy of Gaza (

It has been a quarter of a century since the signing of the Oslo Peace accords. Palestinians are suffering more now than at the beginning of a process that was designed to end the occupation and bring peace. Instead, Palestinian lands are being stolen for illegal settlement construction where colonists are given electricity and water alongside Palestinian villages denied these same services. Palestinian homes are demolished regularly, Palestinian children are killed, maimed and jailed without legal representation and tortured by the military. And the Israeli Knesset is proposing the death sentence for peaceful protest.

Mr. Fegelman, are you denying Palestinians the right to resist this ongoing travesty?

Patricia Mercer
St. John’s

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