I am deeply concerned about the mass bombing and killing of Palestinians in Gaza. Rather than being shocked, hurt and indignant, it seems that many see this as a routine skirmish between the state of Israel and Hamas.

As reported by The Washington Post in an article published in the Portland Press Herald (“Israeli offensive sparks mass exodus,” Page A2, July 14), more than 166 residents of Gaza have been killed and more than 1,000 injured, most of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

And although Hamas has launched hundreds of missiles, just one person has been killed on the Israeli side as of July 16, thanks to the sophisticated anti-missile system known as the “Iron Dome” (funded by more than $3 billion a year in aid from America).

Unfortunately, there is no safe area in Gaza. More than 2 million Palestinians jam Gaza, and although thousands of residents are fleeing their homes, there is really nowhere to go that is safe from the Israeli bombings. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency has called the situation in Gaza “devastating.”

The state of Israel has the right to exist and the right to defend itself. However, I believe the reality of the past (the deaths of 6 million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust) should remind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that his assent to the current assault will only create millions of Palestinians who will never forgive or forget.

Petros Panagakos

Portland