In recent days, there have been more than  60 Palestinian protesters killed and nearly 3,000 injured on the Israel-Gaza Border. The protests were, arguably, a response to the movement of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem but, more intrinsically, the “unlivable” condition that is Gaza, according to the U.N. and NPR. When the right of people to petition their government is silenced violently, people’s desperation (especially given the current economic climate of Gaza) often turns toward more dramatic means of protest.

The recent Israeli violence has given Hamas authorities the opportunity to meet with Egyptian leaders where the southern Egypt-Gaza Border has possibly been opened to the people of Gaza. This would have allowed the access to the bare necessities of food and water to be attained by Palestinians. The legitimacy given to Hamas by Egypt, coupled with Israeli violence and a growing death toll, exonerates Hamas in the eyes of Palestinians in Gaza. That ultimately fuels the violence and hatred on both sides of this conflict.

The solution to the growing power of Hamas is not the continued oppression of the Palestinian people and violence, but the attribution of aid and peaceful efforts by Israel and other sovereign nations. That would begin to remove the services Hamas can provide, which give it power and legitimacy, and begin to de-escalate the situation. This ultimately will make Gaza a safer place for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Benjamin Keener, Lewiston

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