'Holocaust' Strikes Will Intensify, Warns Israel

PM invokes phrase to threaten Hamas
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 7:49 AM CST
Israelis inspect the damage to an apartment after a rocket fired by Palestinians militants in the Gaza Strip hit the town of Ashkelon, Israel, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Israeli air strikes continued to hit Gaza targets overnight, a top Israel official warned that If Hamas continues to fire rockets at Israel, they "will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." The rare use of the word usually reserved for Nazi genocide came from the country's deputy defense minister, as long-range missile attacks by Hamas on the city of Ashkelon have led Israel to step up its offensive in Gaza.


At least 30 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have been killed in the past two days, and Israel has instituted an early warning system in Ashkelon after a Hamas rocket struck an apartment block there, injuring a teenage girl. Israel's three biggest political parties are backing an invasion of the Gaza Strip, and several members of parliament have said they will back a ground offensive that might involve reoccupation, reports Haaretz.