To the editor: It broke my heart to read the article by Dr. Irfan Galaria, a Virginia surgeon who recently volunteered in the Gaza Strip.

I was struck by what he said about people who died quickly in bombings being the lucky ones. The children and others in Gaza who have lost limbs or endured other injuries will suffer the rest of their lives. They are the ones who must go through life after the war.

In addition to the children’s physical and psychological scars, how many years of their education will they lose? How long will they have to live in tents? How many years will it take to rebuild their homes, streets, sewers, water lines, schools, hospitals, mosques and churches?

Yes, it was horrible what Hamas did to the Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, but slaughtering the Gaza population in response is not only inhuman — it is genocidal.

George J. Mouro, Rancho Mirage

To the editor: Galaria’s use of the word “annihilation” led me to reflect on our history.

The United States has Dec. 7, 1941, a day that “will live in infamy.” Israel has Oct. 7, 2023.

The U.S. ultimately responded by dropping atomic bombs on Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people, including women and children. Enemy surrender came afterward.

How can any American denounce Israel’s response to an equivalent sneak attack, when it has resulted in a fraction of the casualties, and with no radioactive fallout?

War is hell. In the U.S., we used to blame the carnage on the attack that started it, not on the response that ended it.

Rick Goldfarb, Sherman Oaks

To the editor: There is no doubt that what Galaria experienced was a living hell. No innocents should have to suffer in war.

For many years, Israel has been under rocket attack by Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel and will continue to strike until it is destroyed. The issues are very complicated, and even more so since the Oct. 7 attack.

War is hell. The Israeli military has shown evidence of tunnels used by Hamas underneath Gaza hospitals. Evidently, Hamas figured that the Israelis would never endanger innocent people. Unfortunately, in order to defeat Hamas, Israel has had to do things that may appear to be inhuman.

It is time for the world to demand that Hamas surrender for the sake of the people of Gaza. The people can then establish a real government that will work toward peace with Israel and use its resources productively instead of focusing on terror.

Bob Shaw, Burbank

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.