The situation in the Middle East and the dire situation in Gaza are never far from our readers’ thoughts.

Earlier this week, there was a faint awakening of hope when Hamas announced that it had accepted an Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal.

Read our report here 👈

Those hopes had to be put on hold, however, when Israel resumed its attacks. The continued bloodshed brought an angry response from one of our readers.

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Doug Maughan of Dunblane writes:

"You report that Israel has rejected the ceasefire agreement proposed by Egypt and Qatar and accepted by Hamas. Today’s news bulletins report that Israel has started bombing Rafah, as it has threatened to do for weeks. Is anyone, other than perhaps Joe Biden, surprised by these latest developments?

When it first invaded last October, Israel said it would destroy Gaza City, but told its inhabitants they would be safe if they moved south to Khan Yunis and beyond. That was a lie. Later, Israel said it would destroy Khan Yunis, but told its inhabitants and the multitude of refugees from Gaza City they would be safe if they moved south to Rafah, hard up against the border with Egypt. That was also a lie: they now intend destroying Rafah, with the inevitable loss of thousands of innocent lives.

The worst human conditions I’ve ever seen were in Ethiopia during the great famine of 1984. I’ll never forget some of the children I saw there, skeletal and close to death. The media blamed drought for the famine, but there was more to it than that. There was civil war in Ethiopia at the time, between rebels in the north and a brutal Marxist regime in Addis Ababa. The worst of the famine was in the north and that suited the Marxists just fine: they had little interest in the survival of women and children in rebel areas and exploited the famine to advance their war effort. I recognised that same indifference to suffering, in a much less extreme situation, in Mrs Thatcher’s response to mining communities fighting to survive that same year.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris said: “Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed.” That was in December. Since then, thousands more innocents have been killed by Israeli forces using American bombs and shells. The Israeli government is worse than the Ethiopian Marxists; at least the latter allowed a substantial amount of foreign aid into the country. So why on earth is the US, which prides itself on being a beacon of democracy and human rights, so deaf and blind to the situation in Gaza? Children are children; wherever they live, they don’t deserve to be killed or maimed by munitions made in America."