Civilians are innocent victims

By From page A6 | July 31, 2014

The latest bombing by Israel of a United Nations-run elementary school on Thursday that resulted in more killings of Palestinian civilians adds to the lopsided consequences of the present war between Hamas and Israel.

Yes, Hamas should be condemned for firing rockets into Israel whether or not they take a large number of Israeli lives. On the other hand, punishing thousands of civilian Palestinians for Hamas’ transgression is not a viable solution.

Killing civilians who are seeking refuge at U.N. schools cannot continue or be justified by “battleground” claims; there are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians seeking refuge in such complexes. If fighting moves to those areas, will more schools and civilians be destroyed with this justification?

As the civilian death toll in Gaza mounts, I hope that supporters of Israel in this conflict will come to the conclusion that massive civilian Palestinian deaths do not promote peace in either the short or long term, and that they ask the Israeli government to cease their conduct.

Although it is true that the 1977 Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention prohibiting the indiscriminate attack of civilians in a war zone has not been signed by Israel, I do not believe that battleground claims, sweeping hidden weapon claims or having dinner with a suspected Hamas operative will be judged by world opinion to justify the large number of civilian casualties that are taking place today.

I also sincerely hope that the government of Israel will take note and reconsider its actions.

Judy Reynolds

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