New York Times, 5/21/04
To the Editor:
"The Gaza Quagmire" (editorial, May 20) oversteps when it accuses Israel of carrying out a deliberate plan "to unilaterally destroy the Palestinian territory."
Israel's operation in Gaza is trying to deal with an increasingly serious situation: the proliferation of tunnels through which Palestinian terrorists are smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip to be used in attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. These tunnels are deliberately situated in high-density population areas.
The last few days in Gaza have witnessed tragic deaths on both sides. Israel has apologized for the deaths of demonstrators in Rafah, is investigating this tragic incident, and has repeated its commitment not to harm civilians.
Associate National Director
New York, May 20, 2004