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3/22/2004 01:52:00 AM | Dan

Israel Kills Terror Group's Leader

Whether you agree with Ariel Sharon's tactics or not, this has the potential to be the most significant event in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict possibly since the fighting broke out in fall 2000.

Yassin was the terrorist group Hamas' religious leader who allegedly issued a religious ruling allowing women to become suicide bombers. Israel had been hunting him at least since September.

Sheik Yassin, a symbol to Palestinians of resistance to Israel and to Israelis of Palestinian terrorism, was by far the most significant Palestinian militant killed by Israel in more than three years of conflict.

In refugee camps like Rafa and Khan Yunis, strongholds of Palestinian militancy, thousands of people took to the streets. Ismail Haniya, a political leader of Hamas, addressed more than a thousand people who gathered outside the autopsy center at Shiffa Hospital in Gaza City.

Ahmed Qurei, the Palestinian prime minister, condemned the attack. "This is a crazy and very dangerous act," he said, according to Reuters. "It opens the door wide to chaos. Yassin is known for his moderation, and he was controlling Hamas, and therefore this is a dangerous, cowardly act."

Assuming Qurei is correct, you have to wonder -- if Yassin, was a "moderate" -- what comes next?



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