I agree with Robert R. Miller (July 27 letter to The Gazette) that the loss of civilian lives in the Gaza/lsrael conflict is heartbreaking. As for most of the rest of his assertions, he is sorely lacking in the facts. The reason the civilian death toll in Gaza is so high is because for years, Hamas has used the citizens of Gaza as human shields for their terrorist activities.
Hamas routinely stores rockets munitions, and other weapons of war in hospitals, schools (including United Nations schools) and mosques. Hamas strategic and military operations against Israel are deliberately located in and around homes in densely populated neighborhoods in Gaza. This ends in tragedy for civilians in Gaza, but it is a major and ongoing element of Hamas' propaganda war, and they are unfortunately successful in getting people like Miller to believe Israel is responsible instead of understanding that Hamas is committing these abuses against their own people.
The fact that Hamas rejected the Egypt cease fire proposal and offer to negotiate a peace agreement — which Israel accepted — is just further evidence that Hamas has little concern for the people of Gaza. Civilian deaths are part of their strategic plan in their war against Israel.