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MEMO to the Editor

Hamas's Handiwork

Dear Editor,

Re: Hamas's Handiwork

Your leading article "Hamas's Handiwork" (21 July) starts off with falsehood and doesn't get any better. Israel did not end its occupation of Gaza when it withdrew its troops and settlers in 2005. Practically, through its control over Gaza's borders, territorial waters and airspace, and legally, according to international law, Israel is still the occupying power. It has duties and responsibilities as such, most of which it is not fulfilling.

Although Israel does, as your writer asserts, have "the right... to protect its civilians from remorseless rocket attacks" it does not have a legal claim to self-defence when such attacks are acts of resistance by the people living under its military occupation. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have the legal right to resist that occupation by any means. If we were to look at cause and effect, the prime cause is the occupation, pre-dating as it does any rocket or other attacks. Israel does not have a "just cause"; it is in the wrong, legally and morally, but still breaks numerous international laws and conventions on a daily basis with apparent impunity.

Your writer seeks to defend Israel's indefensible policies and practices, and fails miserably.That our prime minister offers such a country his "staunch" support is a disgrace to the British values he wants us all to espouse.

Ibrahim Hewitt
Senior Editor,
Middle East Monitor