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Report glosses over Israel's civilian deaths

I DETECT a slight lack of even-handedness in your report, Israeli PM orders 'surgical' retaliation for Gaza raids (News, August 22).

In the description of the recent flare-up, it quite correctly states that the conflict was 'triggered by last Thursday's attack by gunmen which left eight Israelis dead', but failed to mention that six of them were civilians on their way to a weekend holiday break in the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

Similarly, your report did not mention the civilian status of the Israeli man killed in Beersheba on Saturday night by a rocket barrage from Gaza - let alone the heartrending report that his wife, who was in her ninth month of pregnancy, had to watch his funeral from a stretcher.

Yet your journalist found it necessary to draw attention to the non-military nature of at least some of the Palestinian casualties when he wrote that "at least 15 Palestinians - mainly militants, but also including a doctor and three children under 14 - have been killed in Israeli air-strikes since Thursday's attack".

Since it is the deliberate policy of these 'militants' to launch their rockets from civilian sites, such as schools, hospitals etc, such collateral casualties are inevitable.

It would hardly be cynical to suggest that it is done for this precise reason, so that their 'martyrdom' can be used for anti-Israel propaganda.

MARTIN D STERN

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