Correspondents Dr Bernard Conlon and Peter Wilson (Letters, May 19 and May 22) need to read history books to understand the real Palestinian problem.

Israel existed as early as 1000BC until being conquered, forcing the migration of Jews around the world.

The State of Israel was formed by the United Nations in May 1948, with 33 countries favouring partition into a Jewish state and an Arab state and only 13 countries opposing this decision.

Four Arab countries (Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq) immediately attacked Israel but lost against the Israelis.

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While many Palestinians (750,000) were forced or voluntarily abandoned their homes, more than 850,000 Jews in the surrounding Arab states were forced to flee to newly formed Israel.

Most Arab states would not allow the Palestinians who fled Israel to become citizens.

Palestinians tuned down the opportunity of forming an independent state in Palestine as part of the UN decision to partition Palestine.

Jordan is the natural home of the Palestinians but Jordan prefers to maintain "the Palestinian problem."

Unsuccessful wars in 1967 and 1973 by neighbouring Arab states who wanted to eliminate Israel and all Israelis allowed Israel to take control of other land including the Gaza Strip and the West bank.

Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, meaning they do not want peace with Israel, ever.

In the latest border clashes, Hamas drove women and children to the front of the protest so that their deaths could be used as propaganda. Hamas' objective was to force Palestinians through the border fence and create mayhem in Israel. Israel rightfully defended itself.

Paul Carpenter
Rotorua

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