Letter: Culpability of the Israeli government and army for the Hebron massacre

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The Independent Online
Sir: The massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron may have been caused by an insane Jewish settler, but the Israeli government must bear a large part of the blame. The Israeli army unit that stood by while the shooting was taking place were only behaving as they have done on previous occasions of settler violence. Will the Israeli government now reveal exactly what instructions were given to the army to deal with such incidents?

Moreover, the settlers have been encouraged to carry out their acts of terrorism by the derisory punishments handed out to those found guilty of violent crime. In September 1988, for example, the Rabbi Moshe Levinger killed a Palestinian shopkeeper and wounded a passer-by in a machine- gun attack in Hebron. He received a five-month sentence, most of which was passed in community service.

Yours faithfully,

CHARLES HUGHES

Felixstowe,

Suffolk

26 February

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