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Viewpoint

Give them shelter in Gaza City and beyond

As I follow the headlines and minute-to-minute reporting re: the situation at the Israeli border with Gaza, I continue to ask this question: If Hamas has the wherewithal to construct elaborate tunnels that are 25 yards into the ground, why did they not construct underground shelters for the Gazans who now have to travel far and wide to hide inside U.N.-sponsored schools or buildings? Some of the U.N.-sponsored schools have been found to contain rockets that belong to Hamas, a terror organization. It seems that all the U.N. can do is apologize.

When leadership that claims to care for its people, hides weapons of mass destruction among those same people, one begins to wonder what are their real motives? This, in conjunction with the obvious lack of intent to protect the same people they appear to care about, it becomes very clear that another agenda is functioning here. As Bill Clinton said recently, “Hamas had (has) a ‘strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own (Palestinian) civilians so the rest of the world will condemn them...’”

I recall, upon visiting Israel for a year back in 1970, the many underground shelters that had been developed within reach of most any Kibbutz, village or city. Whether one agrees with the political positions that Israel is forced to take at any given time (from 1948 until now), it was very evident to me, up close and personal, that Israel has cared and continues to care for the protection of the population during an attack by the enemy wherever they were (and are) coming from.

At the time of my three different visits to Israel (1970 to 71, 1981, 1986) I met Israelis of all backgrounds, Jews and Arabs alike, including Bedouins — the nomadic Arabs who at the time lived in tents etc. It is unfortunate that the news media fails to discuss the many different kinds of people who live in Israel and who travel to Israel and who require protection when they are there. All of these people are protected by the IDF, or Israel Defense Force, and all people can go to bunkers, underground shelters that have been exquisitely created to protect the population in time of attack. This is why there are less Israelis killed as compared to what we are seeing in Gaza. These underground shelters, together with Israel’s Iron Dome, has put protection first.

Although the current news media and journalists, including CNN, are covering this tragic situation moment by moment, the news reporters are not connecting the dots to discuss the obvious elephant in the room: that the government overseeing the Gaza strip has absolutely no concern about protecting their population by not bothering to create and to develop underground shelters for the Palestinian people.

Again, I reiterate, while Hamas has obviously had the means and financial support to create elaborate tunnels reinforced with concrete for the sole purpose of attacking inside Israel, it appears that Hamas has never created underground shelters for their people in Gaza City or elsewhere. The news media needs to look at this and ask why. This is a travesty and a continuing tragedy.

Jane Kronheim lives in Harrisville.

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