I READ your correspondent's letter (11 January) defending Israel as I heard the news of yet another Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied territories. These settlements are in flagrant contravention of the Geneva Protocols, to which Israel is a signatory.

Far from being a positive move towards a lasting peace, the 1973 Declaration of Principles has been used by Israel to provide more time for the introduction and expansion of Jewish settlements, and to shift the onus of suppressing Arab reaction on to the Bantustans controlled by the Palestinian authority.

As for terrorism, your correspondent omits to mention the numerous Israeli attacks on Lebanon such as the shelling of the UN base at Qana, and the use of a chemical weapon in the attempted murder of a Palestinian in Amman. The difference is that while the suicide bombers in Israel were the responsibility of an organisation that had no formal status, the Israeli attacks were carried out by a government that enjoys full diplomatic representation.

The imposition of a Versailles-style "peace" agreement with the Palestinians and neighbouring states may indeed be the outcome of the current negotiations but it would be more to the point if a measure of justice could be included as well.

Charles Hughes

Felixstowe, Suffolk