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Palestinian death toll high

Mr. Harari (Letters, Jan. 24) believes that the angry response to Israel’s incursion into Gaza is hypocritical and anti-Semitic. He counts Hamas rocket launches to justify his claim. Let’s count deaths instead. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site counts Israeli victims of terrorism.

There were six Israeli deaths from Hamas rockets or mortars in 2008. There were 34 Israeli deaths from any form of terrorism in 2008. The Israeli incursion killed 1,285 Palestinians including 895 civilians, among them 280 children and 111 women, by Jan. 22, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The U.N. counts are slightly higher.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that, for many in Gaza, this also remains an hour of despair, grief and desperate need. “They were caught throughout this crisis between Hamas’ unacceptable and irresponsible actions and Israel’s blockade and use of excessive and disproportionate military force.”

The U.S. has been sending nearly $3 billion of foreign aid to Israel every year, mostly for weapons. Until Israelis value a Palestinian child’s life as much as an Israeli life, send part of the money to the U.N. for Gaza humanitarian aid, and the rest for U.S. children’s health care.

Margaret Mortz

Spokane Valley