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Letters on the Israel-Palestine conflict

Letter to The Oxford Mail, 1st June 2021

SIR - As a doctor who has worked in the Middle East - with both Palestinian and Israelis - I was deeply saddened by the recent violence, destruction and loss of so many innocent lives. As always, it is civilians who suffered most and the targeting of, and violence against, unarmed civilians, peaceful protestors and places of worship can never be justified.

Although a ceasefire has been agreed, the underlying causes of the conflict remain and have led to repeated cycles of violence with extremists on both sides prolonging the agony of the long-suffering people of the region. We must ensure there is no return to the dark days of the past when thousands of innocent lives were lost through the disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks on Palestinian residential areas by the Israeli Defence Force and the reprehensible targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian suicide bombers.

There is no military solution to this conflict - only a negotiated agreement in accordance with international laws and UN resolutions based on equal rights and justice for all can bring the peace, safety, security and dignity that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve.

An end to illegal settlements and the occupation leading to two-states is still supported by a plurality of both Israelis and Palestinians and the international community must now help to bring the two sides together to negotiate a fair and durable settlement.

As Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said on the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993: “Enough of blood and tears. Enough.”

Dr Raghib Ali High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Letter to The Telegraph, 6th June 2021:

Anti-Semitism scourge

SIR – The record number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in May, discussed by Allister Heath, is deeply concerning.

The disgraceful anti-Semitism seen from a small number of protesters undermined those who were peacefully and reasonably calling for justice, equal rights and safety for both Palestinians and Israelis.

While there can be legitimate criticism of both sides in this conflict, there can be no justification for the deplorable attacks we have seen on British Jews – or British Muslims – neither of whom are responsible for the actions of their co-religionists.

They should, however, now work together to help to bring about the peace, dignity and security that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve.

Dr Raghib Ali High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

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