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Letter: Hamas deserves much more criticism than it is getting

Hamas deserves much more criticism than it is getting

Hamas claims that its rockets and tunnels are resistance against Israel’s blockade, a cynical lie that reverses cause and effect.

In fact, hundreds of rockets emanated from Gaza soon after Israel’s 2005 withdrawal, and by now attacks number in the thousands, occurring nearly every month.

Yet, Israel began blockading Gaza only in 2007, the year that Hamas violently wrested control of this area from the Palestinian Authority.

From its founding in 1988 Hamas has been at war with Israel in every sense of the word, and its founding charter clearly says so. It has attacked, kidnapped and killed Israeli civilians and soldiers; it has rocketed Israel continuously since taking Gaza, including after the 2012 cease-fire; and it has invaded Israeli territory with its tunnels.

Blockading an enemy is a normal, accepted tactic of war, particularly when done in defense against that enemy’s aggression. Israel’s (and Egypt’s) action in this regard is fully in accord with international law.

Despite Gaza being hostile territory, Israel has continued, even in times of conflict, providing Gazans with water, gas and electricity, though Hamas has refused to pay for these utilities.

Under international pressure, Israel increased the amount of cement that it allowed into Gaza because its critics insisted that it’s a civil, not a military, resource. We now know that this cement was used by Hamas not for its people, but to build the tunnels with which it invaded Israel.

Hamas, not Israel, deserves the world’s outrage.

Richard S. Laub