A Palestinian woman inspects the rubble of her destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in the east of Gaza city

A just war: Israel's occupation may be illegal, but the terrorists of Hamas give them no choice but to attack

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What's going on?

Over the past week, the news has been dominated by a sudden and severe escalation in the conflict over Gaza. It's brutal. The latest information suggests that both sides are on the attack, with 91 Palestinians and three Israelis dead. Israel says that it must defend its people from the provocation of Hamas, a terrorist group. The Palestinians says that Israel's occupation is illegal, and this degree of brutally is totally unjustified.

So is Israel's aggression towards the Palestinians justified?

Case for: Self-defence

How can a democracy like Israel be expected to tolerate the terrorism across its border? It cannot. Hamas may have been elected but they are a militant, terrorist group bent on destroying the Jewish state by any means possible. Its leadership must be fatally wounded and it is incumbent upon the international community, led by America, to stand up to tyranny. Until Hamas is defeated, there will be no peace in the Middle East.

Case Against: Disproportionate

It is Israel, not Hamas, that started this war. Its illegal occupation is the single biggest cause of the incessant conflict in the Middle East, and until the Palestinians are allowed their own nation state, this conflict will continue. In any case, the numbers speak for themselves: Israel's brutal onslaught - which is clearly motivated by forthcoming elections - is utterly out of proportion, as well as ineffective. Each Palestinian murdered radicalises a hundred others .

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Israel's attacks on Hamas are justified

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