Letters: The use of human shields by Hamas makes a high death toll in Gaza unavoidable
The Hamas massacre of October 7 was an act of unspeakable evil which the leadership of Hamas boasted would be repeated ‘again and again’.
October 7 and the Hamas boast constitute an existential threat to the state of Israel and to the lives of its citizens.
Faced with this existential threat Israel has not only a right but a moral duty of self-defence which imposes on Israel the military necessity to eliminate the Hamas leadership and to destroy the infrastructure of terror built by Hamas under Gaza city which effectively makes the inhabitants of Gaza a ‘human shield’ for Hamas.
The Hamas ‘human shield’ strategy (an egregious war crime) makes a high civilian death toll unavoidable despite the well documented measures that the Israeli military takes to avoid civilian casualties.
The deputy leader of the Alliance Party Stephen Farry voted in Westminster on November 15 for an immediate Israeli ceasefire based on the claim that the Israeli action is directed to the ‘collective punishment of Palestinians’.
This is an attribution to Israel of war crime intent amounting to a reprehensible claim of moral equivalence between the state of Israel exercising of necessity its right of self-defence and the ideological fanaticism and sadistic evil of Hamas terrorism.
The demand for a ceasefire is in effect a demand for an Israeli capitulation to the threat of repeated massacre and a ‘green light’ to Hamas.
Alliance/SDLP/Sinn Fein are also demanding a two-state solution on the grounds that this would end the ‘systematic discrimination of Palestinians’ and the Israeli ‘occupation’ – an indictment of Israel despite the fact that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
There are two fundamental problems with the notion of a two-state solution. The first is that neither Hamas or Fatah want a two-state solution – their joint demand is for the destruction of the state of Israel and a Judenrein Palestine.
The Hamas/Fatah demand is premised on the existence of an historic ‘Palestinian nation’ with legitimate claims to sovereignty over the territory they designate ‘Palestine’. No such nation ever existed – the notion of a Palestinian nation is a PLO construct of the early 1960s.
The second problem is that the two-state solution would present Israel with a strategic nightmare because it would replicate in the West Bank, what occurred in Gaza after Israel entirely withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
The horror of October 7 has cemented a consensus in Israel that the two-state solution is an absolute non-starter.
Patrick Roche, Co Down