Evidently letter writer Bruce Knauff ignored the facts when he claimed that the Israeli response to thousands of rockets fired into Israel is of no importance compared to the casualties in Gaza ("Conflict over Gaza is one-sided," July 16).

Hamas started the current conflict confident in its ability to hit major Israeli population centers with its long-range rockets. Israel has spent billions to develop defensive weapons that for the most part have been successful at blunting those attacks.

Hamas prides itself on firing its rockets from heavily populated areas and demanding that the inhabitants stay in place so that the return fire by Israel will cause civilian casualties. Despite this, over 70 percent of the dead have been Hamas fighters or men of military age.

Hamas was offered a cease fire but refused, while not only did Israel abstain from retaliating for six hours during which more than 50 rockets were fired from Gaza but continued to supply electricity, fuel and food to the Hamas-controlled enclave.

Who then is the aggressor, and who continues to fire rockets that have killed one Israeli, wounded dozens more and paralyzed all of Israel with rockets that fall on it every few minutes?

Nelson Marans, Silver Spring

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