In condemning Israel for finally taking action to counter terrorist and rocket attacks, Ray Gordon ignores the history of the last nine years of the conflict between Hamas and Israel ("Hold Israel accountable for war crimes," Dec. 23). After Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza without any reciprocity, removing 10,000 of its citizens in 2005, the initial Fatah government was voted out by the inhabitants of Gaza, choosing the agenda of Hamas that included the destruction of Israel and the extermination of its Jewish population. Over 10,000 rockets were fired into Israel, traumatizing the entire population of southern Israel with 40 percent of the habitants leaving. Hourly evacuation to bomb shelters was the normal daily routine of the Israeli inhabitants.

Prior to the recent Gaza war, the increasing intensity of rocket firing and cross border raids by Hamas required a response. Civilian deaths in Gaza were caused by the war crimes of Hamas using their own populated areas for launching rocket attacks and not by Israel. The writer is well aware of this.

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Nelson Marans, Silver Spring

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