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Mideast conflict compounded

June 19, 2007

Re "As divide deepens, Gaza's fate uncertain," June 18

Why not a negotiated settlement between Israel and the West Bank? If the two are able to reach an accord, it would surely set the ground rules for an eventual agreement with "Gazakstan." In addition, should a workable, democratic Palestinian (Arab) state emerge, the Middle East would have an example that President Bush's Iraq policies have failed to provide. Let's give the un-jihadists a chance to show their stuff.

LOUIS NEVELL

Los Angeles

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Re "Hamas victory spells misery in Gaza," June 16

Here's the deal: Hamas delivers kidnapped Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit safe and sound to an Israeli border checkpoint; Israel delivers a one-ton shipment of food for the starving Palestinians.

NATHAN KRAVETZ

Sherman Oaks

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Liz Sime, director of Care International's distribution of food and medicine in Gaza, said, "It is imperative that Israel find a way through [the border closure] quickly, because the people cannot tolerate the closure much longer." How is it Israel's responsibility to help Hamas, a known terrorist organization that initiated this bloody week of warfare and murder? The Palestinians elected Hamas, a party devoted to destruction and death, and they got exactly what they voted for. Sime also said that Israelis "don't want to deal with Hamas." Israel has no one to deal with. Hamas has called repeatedly for the total destruction of Israel and does not recognize Israel. Let Hamas and the Islamists who support its terrorist activities find a way to heal, feed and clothe the Palestinians in Gaza.

JUDITH FENTON

Costa Mesa

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The West, led by the U.S. and Israel, will repeat the mistakes -- the strategy of pressuring the people of Gaza through starvation to weaken Hamas. This will prove a complete failure and will not bring the support to the corrupted Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, but may strengthen the more radical Islamic movement not only in the occupied territories but all over the Islamic world.

TAREK HEBA

Alexandria, Egypt

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Re "Vision of a unified Palestinian state fades," news analysis, June 15

Why does The Times persist in referring to Israel's "occupation" of the Palestinian territories? What occupation? When Germany invaded Poland in World War II, it occupied the territory of a sovereign nation.

Contrast this with the events of 1967 when, in defending itself against an imminent Arab invasion, Israel captured lands previously controlled by Egypt and Jordan. Before that, no one referred to them as occupied territories. Israel stands ready to give the Palestinians their own state if and when they renounce the use of violence, the prospects for which grow increasingly remote in light of their inability to resolve their own internal conflicts.

BRUCE FRIEDMAN

Beverly Hills

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In all fairness, will The Times now refer to Gaza as "occupied Gaza"?

ROBERT ARONOFF

South Pasadena

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