Recognize rights of Palestinians

In the editorial ``Crackdown, or Rethink,'' Oct. 24, about the Hamas's bus bombing in Tel Aviv, it is rare to see the phrase ``peace with justice'' used by the US press in connection with the Palestinian issue.

This past year has seen no end to Israeli occupation practices outlawed by the Fourth Geneva Convention and condemned by international human rights organizations. More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since September 1993, at least 19 of whom were executed by the undercover squads that are now expected to intensify their efforts against Hamas.

House demolitions, prolonged curfews, mass arrests, and the continued use of detention without charges or trial as some 6,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli jails, have made many despair of the ``peace process.''

This is especially true in the Hebron area, where Palestinians have been forced to pay a heavy price for Baruch Goldstein's massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer last February. In the Gaza Strip the standard of living declined 25 percent during the first three months of ``autonomy.''

These are the circumstances that fuel Hamas. As you point out, the solution is not more ``iron fist,'' but political. The rights of the Palestinian people must at least be recognized by Israel (and the US), including their right to self-determination. Nancy Murray Lexington, Mass. Director, the Middle East Justice Network.

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