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Letter: Hamas was wrong but so was Israeli government
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

I am writing to respond to Derek Collins’ letter, “Hamas must be accountable for its actions,” (March 21).

This letter is NOT a defence of Hamas in any way. This is also not intended to place blame on the Jewish people.

The Israeli government is responsible and it must be held accountable for the deaths and suffering it has caused.

It is undeniably true that what Hamas has done is not right. However, we must look at the context of why this group exists in the first place.

Hamas was founded because of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Its actions took place as a response.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights detailed “widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated by the Israeli occupying power, in particular mass killings and collective punishments.”

This was in the early 2000s. This has been happening since the 1960s. Since then, the Israelis have only done more to try to remove Palestinians from their homes, culminating in a genocide occurring right now.

It is also important to note that much of Israel’s reports on Hamas are false information. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have been responsible for a number of discredited statements.

One example is how the IDF said that it had “fired precisely” at those who posed a threat during the Flour Massacre. This is intended to make Israel look less violent and place blame on Palestinians.

The UN found that the IDF had shot at civilians trying to get food from aid trucks, killing 118 people and injuring 760.

I also want to draw attention to the meaning of the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The following is from the CBC News: “Yousef Munayyer, head of the Palestine-Israel program at the Arab Center, Washington D.C. … says today, the phrase is used to reference the lack of freedoms Palestinians have in the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea …”

“That’s what has to change. That doesn’t mean that there should be any violence against Israelis,” Munayyer said.

As of March 5, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed. This is the result of the Israeli government’s genocide.

Derek Collins says a permanent ceasefire “does not address the nature of the combatants.” This is not the case. If Israel stops its oppression of Palestinians, the natural result will be that Hamas will no longer exist.

Hospitals and areas that are supposed to be safe are being raided and bombed by the Israeli military. People are being starved; Israel won’t allow aid entry into the Gaza strip and the UN has stated “famine is imminent.”.

Alma Jaroor, 12, told her story to the BBC. Her account may be disturbing for some readers.

“I remember waking up under the rubble. I checked my iPad, and saw it was 09:00. I hoped my brother Tarazan would still be alive. I was calling out to him, and holding on to hope that one of them would be alive.”

“I could smell the blood. It was dripping on to me. I was screaming for anyone to rescue us. I was hearing others calling out as well.”

She found Tarazan’s body after she was rescued. “I lifted the blanket that was covering him. I found him in an unimaginable state, his head severed.” Alma’s whole family was killed by an Israeli airstrike. This was the third place they had fled to for safety.

If you are in a position to be able to help those suffering, please consider doing so. You can make a donation (e.g. UNRWA, ANERA, Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund).

Boycott companies that support Israel. Email or call the premier or the prime minister and tell them to advocate for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories, and to officially recognize the State of Palestine.

Sophia Voogt
NOTL

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