Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Israel to do what US did to Japan in WWII?

The head of an Israeli opposition party says Tel Aviv should deal with Gaza the same way the US dealt with Japan in World War II.

"We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II," Avigdor Lieberman, the head of an ultra-nationalist opposition party, said Tuesday.

Japan was brought down to its knees before surrendering in 1945 after the US dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Lieberman was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that Israel needed to decisively "break the will" of Hamas in the Gaza Strip -- home to some 1.5 million Palestinians.

Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead on Dec. 27 to put an end to rocket attacks on southern Israel. At least 940 Palestinians have died during the offensive, while some 4,400 others have been wounded.

The Israeli army has sustained serious casualties since a ground operation into Gaza was launched in the second week of the attacks. Official numbers indicate at least 10 Israeli soldiers have been killed in battles against Hamas fighters.

Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the coastal sliver, demands a cessation of an 18-month Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip before its fighters suspend rocket attacks.

"Israel won't be secure so long as Hamas is in power, and therefore we need to come to a decision that we will break the will of Hamas to keep fighting," said Lieberman, who quit Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government last year.

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