"Intifada's 'Shock Troops' Masked," the well-written and informative article by Daniel Williams (Part A, Oct. 29), again points out the lamentable condition to which present Israeli leadership has sunk. Their new policy of opening fire on anyone in the West Bank and Gaza Strip wearing a scarf or hood is simply a continuation of the inhuman brutality which they have so long inflicted on their Palestinian charges.
I visited the Israeli-occupied areas in August and was appalled at what I found there. Israeli officials regularly appropriate private land without cause. The Palestinian population is subjected to collective punishment for the suspected misdeeds of a few. Homes of those believed to have connections with dissidents are summarily demolished. Individuals may be held in detention for up to a year without trial. Schools and vocational training centers are shut down with even the dissemination of homework assignments forbidden. Now, as hapless Palestinians try to insulate themselves from the damp winds of winter, they face sudden death at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Could any situation be more tragic or more pathetic?
The barbarous tactics employed by Israel's far-right leaders will ultimately prove ruinous for that nation. Such cruel policies provide no real opportunity for meaningful dialogue, no chance for a lessening of tensions, no opening for peace. Sadistic repression always breeds violent rebellion in a never-ending vicious circle. Only when Israel's decision-makers see the human faces of those in the occupied lands can there be hope of reconciliation and an end to the awful carnage.
JAMES D. HIMMELSBACH