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Hamas must give up its rockets before talks can proceed [Letter]

I appreciate your editorial view that to end the fighting in Gaza "Hamas must agree to give up its rockets, Israel must lift its blockade, and the international community must rebuild Gaza" ("The way forward in Gaza," July 25).

If Baltimore were being besieged by dozens of rockets aimed at its population — no matter what else was going on — those rockets would have to stop before any talks could proceed.

Grievances can always be discussed, but not under fire upon civilians, so you are correct: Hamas must agree to give up its rockets.

The misguided, uninformed, naive or — dare I say it? — anti-Semitic bleeding hearts must acknowledge that Gaza's civilians have been purposely placed in harm's way by Hamas' policy of using their homes, schools and hospitals as weapons depots.

What other leaders would be so uniquely callous — and then blame the other country for civilian losses? Who can believe such stupidity?

What other country bombarded with daily rockets warns people to leave before they attack? Sets up a hospital to treat the wounded? Refrains from destroying the entire Gaza Strip as the Allies did to Germany and Japan in the Second World War?

The answer is none. None but Israel. Ever.

Let Hamas give up its rockets — all of them — and blow up its own tunnels if it doesn't want Israel to do it for them. Let Hamas then discuss building new schools and homes and hospitals, as it should have done when concrete and building supplies were allowed across the border. Then we'll see what concessions can be made.

Judy Chernak, Pikesville

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