Published: 12-15-2023 11:21 AM

Richard Fein’s recent column “Is Hamas winning the long war?” [Gazette, Nov. 27] states that “in response (to Hamas’ crimes) Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza.”.He neglects to mention that this blockade denies food, medicine and water to several million civilians, and that such collective punishment of a civilian population is by definition a war crime.

Israel’s blockade is not justified by the desire to punish Hamas. It is an attack on a vulnerable civilian population. The Israeli attacks on hospitals, schools and residential neighborhoods are further violations of international law. This is also true of Hamas’ brutal attacks on civilians in Israel, and deserve our condemnation. What we must not ignore, however, and what is further troubling to us, is that Israel is committing its attacks on civilians with U.S. weapons and U.S. government complicity.

We grieve for all the lives that have been lost and ruined in this terrible tragedy and wish for safety, peace and freedom for all those on both sides of this conflict. As Americans we feel it is urgent that we state to our government that Hamas’ war crimes do not justify Israel’s murder of thousands of civilians. The Biden Administration wants to keep sending bombs and weapons that will rain down on Palestine. This is simply an immoral policy. Like Mr. Fein, we hope that Israelis and Palestinians can one day live in peace. We also hope that never again will a nation or a political group inflict the horrible, senseless violence that has occurred in this conflict. And we hope that the U.S. will never again enable an ally to kill civilians with our government’s support.

Brooks Ballenger and Lisa Gaughran

Amherst 

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