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MEMO to the Editor

Yuval Steinitz

Dear Editor,

Re: MPs 'encouraged Hamas terrorism' by voting for Palestinian state says Israel

It is, of course, to be expected that an Israeli cabinet minister would spout propaganda, and Yuval Steinitz does not disappoint (MPs "encouraged Hamas terrorism" by voting for Palestinian state says Israel, 24 October). Repeating the mantra of "Israel's security needs" Steinitz ignores the much greater security needs of the Palestinians, given that they live under Israel's brutal military occupation. That is something that he simply does not mention.

He also claims that his country's massively disproportionate bombardment of civilians in Gaza was a response to being "attacked with 4,000 rockets". Put to one side the fact that it is clear who started the war, self-defence is no justification in law when used by an occupier against the people under occupation, who have every right to oppose the occupation by any means at their disposal. International laws and conventions are ignored by Israel on a daily basis; it is to Britain's shame that neither the prime minister nor his foreign secretary, nor, indeed, your chief foreign correspondent, chose to challenge Mr Steinitz government over such blatant criminality.

Ibrahim Hewitt
Senior Editor,
Middle East Monitor