LETTER : `Grapes of Wrath': Lebanon pays the price for Israel's securit y fears

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The Independent Online
Sir: On reading Robert Fisk's report from Lebanon ("This is not just a military operation. It is an attempt to smash a country", 15 April), I was angered to read the following paragraph:

And in the real world of Lebanon the simple question has to be asked. Would the Israelis have embarked on such a massive military operation at such enormous cost, just to avenge the wounding of five Israelis by Katyusha rockets, an assault that was itself retaliation for the killing of a Lebanese youth.

I wonder if Mr Fisk is aware that Hizbollah have been firing the rockets at northern Israel for years.

On a trip to Israel last summer, I visited towns in northern Israel and was shocked at the way that the Israeli civilians were used to the danger. I was even witness to a rocket attack, hearing a boom and being told quite calmly that it was a Katyusha.

Israel's bombardment of southern Lebanon is an attempt to show Hizbollah that it will not allow Israeli civilians to be at daily risk.

Alexander Cowan

(Aged 17)

Elstree,

Hertfordshire

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