Israeli lawmakers are increasingly calling for military action in Gaza, with one minister warning of a “shoah” in the Palestinian territory if rocket attacks did not cease.
“The more Qassam fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio on Friday, according to Ha’aretz.
A spokesman for Vilnai said the deputy minister meant a “disaster,” saying “he did not mean to make any allusion to the genocide.” Still, in response to Vilnai’s comments, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri reportedly said: “We are facing new Nazis who want to kill and burn the Palestinian people.”
Other Israeli lawmakers from various parties are also calling for major action. The chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi of Kadima, said that the Israeli military must reoccupy part of the Gaza Strip and overthrow the Hamas government, adding that the IDF must be prepared to remain in parts of Gaza for years.
Opposition to a return to Gaza was still being voiced by some officials. Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter reportedly rejected such proposals, calling them “populist ideas which I don’t agree with, and in my opinion, no intelligent person does either.”