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Civilians Under Attack in the Middle East

October 23, 2003

I read with increasing disbelief "5 Israeli Raids in Gaza Kill 10, Injure Scores" (Oct. 21), with Palestinians expressing "outrage that Israel would carry out air raids in a crowded urban center" where it would be impossible to prevent civilian casualties. Israeli policy is to target terror suspects, not innocent civilians. Palestinian terrorists, though, target innocent civilians in crowded buses and cafes. Where is the Palestinians' outrage about that policy?

When the Palestinian people take responsibility for themselves and acquire different leadership, then the peace process can go forward. Until then, innocent civilians on both sides will continue to die. What a waste.

Ariella Ives

Los Angeles

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When do consequences outweigh intent? Israel and the Bush administration contend that the suicide bombers are terrorists for targeting civilians (they are) but that Israel is acting in self-defense. When the Palestinian civilian casualties outnumber those of Israelis, where is the balance? If the Palestinians used F-15s and Apache helicopters and killed Israeli civilians, would that make it self-defense for them? No, that would be a war. What's the difference? Israel may have the intent of targeting only militants, but the consequences of its actions show that there is no difference.

Steven Cho

Culver City

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Someday the Palestinians must come to the realization that their leadership has played its (admittedly poor) hand very badly and that armed resistance and terror can only lose them more territory. And once they accept their half-loaf, a mini-state sprinkled with Israeli settlements, they could perhaps follow in the footsteps of another conquered and displaced people -- by building casinos.

Robert Drury

Long Beach

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