Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, wrote an op-ed on Sunday calling for even more aggressive Israeli strikes in Gaza.
"We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza," states Sharon in The Jerusalem Post.
The violence between Israel and Hamas this week has reportedly claimed the lives of 81 Palestinians, including 37 civilians, as well as 3 Israeli civilians. Current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that "the Israeli military is prepared to significantly expand the operation."
Sharon writes in his op-ed, entitled "A decisive conclusion is necessary," that "the residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren’t hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences." After saying that Israel needs to "flatten all of Gaza," he goes on to say, "The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too."
He concludes his defense of Israel's actions with a hawkish message:
There is no middle path here – either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip. Otherwise there will be no decisive victory. And we’re running out of time – we must achieve victory quickly. The Netanyahu government is on a short international leash. Soon the pressure will start – and a million civilians can’t live under fire for long. This needs to end quickly – with a bang, not a whimper.
A bio on the website for HarperCollins Publishers describes Sharon as follows:
Gilad Sharon is the youngest of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s sons. Gilad holds a master’s degree in economics and writes a column for the prominent Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. A major in the Israel Defense Force reserves, he currently manages his family’s farm in Israel.
Sharon isn't alone in his militant tone. Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai is reported by The Yeshiva World News to have said, "We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water." Haaretz also reports that Yishai stated, "The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages."
President Barack Obama said on Sunday that the United States is "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself."
The violent conflict continued on Sunday as Palestinian militants fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, and one of Israel's missile strikes killed at least 11 civilians.
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March 22, 2004
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April 17, 2004
Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, the co-founder of Hamas and Yassin's successor, is killed by Israeli missile. <em>Caption: Picture taken 09 May 2002 shows Hamas political leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi talking to the press in Gaza City. (MOHAMMED SABER/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Sept. 1, 2005
Israeli forces complete a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, captured from Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war, abandoning settlements and leaving the densely populated coastal area under the control of the Palestinian Authority. <em>Caption: Israeli troops guard an unfinished section of the border installation Israel is building November 23, 2005 along its boundary with the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)</em>
Jan. 25, 2006
Hamas wins majority of seats in Palestinian legislative election. Israel and United States cut off aid to Palestinians because Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel. <em>Caption: A Palestinian man reads the newspaper with pictures showing the winners of the Palestinian elections outside his shop in Jerusalem's Old City, 27 January 2006. (GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
June 25, 2006
Hamas militants launch raid into Israel from Gaza, killing two soldiers and capturing conscript Gilad Shalit. <em>Caption: Recently-freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit attends a meeting with French ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot (not seen) at the French embassy in Tel Aviv on January 11, 2012. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)</em>
June 28, 2006
Israeli troops invade the Gaza Strip, but fail to find Shalit. <em>Caption: Palestinians inspect the damaged houses around the building of the Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry office after an Israeli air strike, June 30, 2006 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)</em>
Nov. 26, 2006
Ceasefire in Gaza announced, ends five months of Israeli air strikes and incursions that fail to free Shalit. <em>Caption: An Israeli soldier rests next to a tank at a military staging area near Kibbutz Mefalsim, in southern Israel on the border with the Gaza Strip, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006. (AP Photo/Oded Blilty)</em>
June 14, 2007
Hamas takes over Gaza in brief civil war with Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Rockets regularly fired into southern Israel. <em>Caption: Palestinian Fatah movement supporters chant anti-Hamas slogans during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, 13 November 2007. (ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
April 24, 2008
Hamas leader offers Israel six-month truce in Gaza but says fate of Shalit separate issue. Talks fail to make progress but ceasefire eventually agreed. However, many rocket attacks on southern Israel recorded during truce period. <em>Caption: Hamas political leader, Khaled Mashaal talks to reporters at a press conference in Damascus,Syria, on Monday April 21, 2008. (AP photo / Bassem Tellawi).</em>
Dec. 19, 2008
Fragile six-month ceasefire expires as they fail to agree on terms to extend truce. <em>Caption: Israeli soldiers escort blindfolded Palestinian women to the Kissufim Israeli army base,after they were detained during a military operation in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Yehuda Lahiani)</em>
Dec. 27, 2008
Israel launches 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip after Palestinians fire rockets at southern Israeli town of Sderot. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed. <em>Caption: In this Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009 file photo, smoke rises following explosions caused by Israeli military operations in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, File)</em>
Jan. 18, 2009
Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza. <em>Caption: Palestinian security men stand guard on a street during the third day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on January 20, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)</em>
April 9, 2011
The Israeli military kills top Hamas militant Tayser Abu Snima in a raid, saying he was "directly and physically involved" in Shalit's capture. <em>Caption: Palestinians pray over the body of the commander of the Islamic Hamas militant Tayser Abu Snima, 29, at the treatment room of Al Najar hospital following an Israeli air strikes on Hamas militants group in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, early Saturday, April 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)</em>
Oct. 11, 2011
Israeli and Hamas officials say a deal has been reached to swap Shalit for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Swap takes place on October 18 <em>Captions: A supporter of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit waits for Shalit's parents at their home in Mitzpe Hila, northern Israel, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)</em>
March 12, 2012
Four days of violence between Israel and Gazan militants leaves at least 25 Palestinians dead and 80 wounded. Eight people in Israel wounded. The exchanges began after two chiefs of a smaller faction were killed in an Israeli strike. <em>Caption: Palestinian girl cries during the funeral of a 12 year old Ayoub Assalya in Jabaliya Refugee Camp, in Gaza Strip, Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)</em>
June 23, 2012
Israel says Hamas and other groups fire more than 150 rockets at it in a week. Retaliatory airstrikes kill at least 2 Palestinians. <em>Caption: A Palestinian security police officer inspects the damage following an Israeli air strike on the building in Gaza City, early Saturday, June 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)</em>
Oct. 8, 2012
Hamas and other groups fire more than 55 rockets and mortars at southern Israel. At least one militant killed in Israeli airstrike. <em>Caption: Israeli citizens are seen through a car's windshield which was shattered when a rocket fired last night from the Gaza strip landed in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)</em>
Nov. 13, 2012
Three Palestinian militants and at least four civilians die in new round of violence. More than 115 rockets fired into southern Israel. Israeli army says more than 760 rockets have hit Israel since the start of the year. <em>Caption: A view of a destroyed house after a long-range Grad rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza Strip hit in the southern Israeli town of Netivot, Sunday Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)</em>
Nov. 14, 2012
Israel kills Hamas's military chief of staff; launch widespread air offensive. Warn of possible ground attack. <em>Caption: Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Edi Israel)</em>