Your report "Gaza slum growth illustrates economic plight, bleak future" (June 22) could not be further from the truth in its attempt to blame Hamas for the terrible conditions suffered by Palestinians.

In fact, it is Israel's blockade and its stranglehold on the civilian population of Gaza that have turned Gaza into a "a giant prison camp," according to the International Red Cross, the Vatican, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other groups.

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Israel has admitted that the blockade is not for security but rather as a means of committing economic warfare against the civilian population of Gaza, which is a clear violation of international law.

Dr. Mads Gilbert of Gaza wrote that Israel's 2014 invasion killed 2,200 Palestinians, three quarters of whom were civilians, including more than 500 children:

"Israel cut the water supply, the electric supply, the medical supply, the food supply, and they bombed everything. Hospitals, ambulances, residential areas, schools, pipelines, water pipelines, sewage — everything," he wrote.

Last year, the European court delisted Hamas from its terrorist list, saying that it never should have been on the list in the first place and was only there because of pressure from Israel and the U.S.

Eamonn McCann wrote in the Irish Times that "Hamas is a nationalist organization par excellence, fighting for a Palestinian state."

Ray Gordon, Bel Air

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