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  News In English ,,, March 2004
  • March .22.2004 Sharon was after the Yassin's murder

Israeli helicopter gunships have fired missiles at Shaikh Ahmad Yasin as he Sharon was after the Yassin's murderleft a mosque after dawn, killing the Hamas leader and at least six other people.

Witnesses said Israeli helicopters fired three missiles at Yassin and his bodyguards around 5 A.M. local time as they left the mosque. Yassin was killed instantly and up to seven bodyguards, reportedly including Yasin's son, were also said to have been killed. Hamas officials confirmed that Yassin had been killed.

One witness who lives near the mosque told reporters what happened moments after the first explosion. "I looked to see where Shaikh Ahmad Yasin was," he said. "He was lying on the ground and his chair was destroyed. People there darted left and right. Then another two missiles landed." Yasin's body was evacuated to Gaza City's Shifa Hospital.

At least six people died in the attack including at least two of Yasin's bodyguards, and 10 more were wounded. Shaikh Yasin's two sons were moderately hurt.

"The shaikh is dead. The shaikh is dead," sobbed Hamas resistance fighters who gathered at the scene.

Thousands of Palestinians, many in tears, poured into the streets and fighters fired into the air. Palestinian Authority officials condemned the attack.

"This is a crazy and very dangerous act. It opens the door wide to chaos. Yasin is known for his moderation and he was controlling Hamas and therefore this is a dangerous, cowardly act," said Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya.

Hamas resistance fighters vowed to "bring death to every house" in Israel in revenge.
"Shaikh Ahmad Yasin rest in peace. They will never enjoy rest. We will send death to every house, every city, every street in Israel," Hamas resistance fighters shouted through loudspeakers in the streets of Gaza City.

The Israel Occupation Forces confirmed that Yassin had been killed in the strike, saying he was directly responsible for dozens of "terrorist attacks."

"In an operation by security forces [Monday] morning in the northern Gaza Strip, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, leader of the Hamas terrorist group and personally responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks and the deaths of Israelis, foreigners and security personnel, was killed in an air strike on his car," the army said in a statement.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon oversaw the entire operation, receiving constant updates from military officials at his Negev ranch.

Army Radio reported that the decision to assassinate Yassin was taken following the March 14 double suicide bombing at the Ashdod port in which 10 people were killed.

Yassin was lightly wounded in a failed Israeli attempt to assassinate him last September.

On Sunday, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the cabinet that the defense establishment was drawing up a plan to severely weaken Hamas ahead of Israel's implementation of its disengagement plan.

Cars drove through the streets blaring calls for revenge over loudspeakers. Some aired recordings of Yassin, saying, "We chose this road, and will end with martyrdom or victory."

Mosques read passages from the Quran and two Gaza churches rang their church bells.
Announcing Yassin's death, the Hamas leadership said, "Sharon has opened the gates of hell and nothing will stop us from cutting off his head," referring to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon."

Yasin, who was in his late 60s, has been confined to a wheelchair since an accident as a teenager that paralysed him. He was also partially blind.

Yasin was sentenced by Israel in 1989 to a life term for founding Hamas and inciting Palestinians to attack Israelis. But Israel released him in 1997 as a goodwill gesture to Jordan's King Husayn after an attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in Jordan failed.





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