Sheik Yassin was targeted as he returned from a mosque in
Gaza City at daybreak. Five others were killed and some 15
Israeli security forces are on high alert after Hamas vowed
to strike back and bring death to "every city and every
Palestinian towns in the West Bank are sealed off and police
in Jerusalem have set up checkpoints, while Israeli tanks
rolled into north Gaza overnight.
Where does this leave the Middle East peace process? Are
Israel's actions justified?
following comments reflect the balance of the opinions we
Yassin's assassination is a tactical and
strategic mistake, as well as a moral abomination. His
convictions and strategy will not be gone with his body, and
the assassination gives yet another reason to criticize
Israel for this conduct which is unfitting an independent
state. Israel should aim to prove that its goals and aims
are peace, and refrain from using unnecessary violence.
Avi, Jerusalem, Israel
I think there are a lot of people on both sides who
have a vested interest in keeping this war alive. This act
is a sure fire way of continuing the violence and will solve
nothing. Will politicians never learn from history?
Terrorism is a form of warfare that cannot be defeated by
conventional means i.e. destroy the leaders and the army
will collapse. There is no traditional military structure
and no single general who is key to the organisation. That
is why desperate people who have nowhere else to turn, turn
to terrorist action as a way of hitting back against their
oppressors. I have the utmost sympathy for the Israeli
position but this is no way to solve the situation. And to
those who say striking at targets in civilian areas is
justified, you've obviously never been in a war zone and
seen the devastation that these supposedly 'clinical'
strikes cause on the ground.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin an instigator of violence and
bloodshed. Congratulations Israel, This should have been
done years ago
C, London, England
The Israeli Govt. is living in a fool's paradise.
Killing the leaders of Hamas will not rein in the
organization. The only solution to this problem is mutual
talks, as long as they take. To think otherwise is to
participate in the continuing senseless violence, which is
now turning into a vicious cycle.
Congratulations Israel! At least one small country is
standing up boldly and strongly in the face of terrorism. If
only other countries would treat these terrorists Dialogue?
Unfortunately, death and violence are the only language
these people understand. Well done Israel!
Ross , France
Obvious and quite reasonable justifications from
killing this old man aside; this execution was not for the
purpose of resolving this conflict, it is an escalation, and
even supporters of Israel should know this is more for
revenge than anything else.
Pete, Canberra Australia
Peace won't be achieved by killing extremist leaders.
To do this both sides need to fight the problem that is
causing all this bloodshed. Killing Yassin will do nothing.
Others will take his place and this cycle will continue if
no other neutral attempt at peace is made.
I can't bring myself to mourn for this man, but
really, does Israel think this is the answer? To anger those
you are trying to reach peace with? The fact that some of
the Palestinians are equally destructive is neither here nor
there. The circle of violence will just continue with this
kind of assassination and innocents will continue to die.
Hardly a good strategic move.
Katherine, London, UK
I believe just an action cannot be justified. It is
internationally illegal and such behaviour by Israel will
have shattered any hope of peace in the Middle East. I
expect there will be reprisals by Hamas and further
bloodshed. Israel should be punished by the UN for its
Dr A Dhanji, London, UK
Further into the downward spiral we go. The Sheikh
has now become a martyr to the Palestinian cause. Revenge
attacks will exponentially increase. Israeli's will counter
attack and the Palestinians will avenge. The quicker Israel
and the Palestinians come to an agreement the quicker we
shall see peace in the region. Sorry for not being
optimistic but I don't foresee any peace in Israel, well not
in my lifetime.
Dave Lanesby, Madrid
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
ML, London, England
This is a murderous act by the Israelis. They can
rest assure Muslims around the world will despise and
condemn them even more because of this!
I think it's a case of good-riddance. The guy
proclaims to be a spiritual leader? Yeah, right!
Steve F, Southampton, UK
It's again a cowardly act of Israel, killing doesn't
solve the problem and things will be worse for Israel.
Abu Haider, Cochin India
Peace can be
achieved by withdrawing from occupied territories, not by
carrying out extrajudicial executions.
Roger, London, UK
Peace is nowhere in sight now. For what seems a tiny
flicker of light at the end of the tunnel now has completely
being blown away by killing the man who has so much
influence on the Palestinians. Killing the man will only
invite more tragedies for Israel.
Again the US fails to address the issue in Palestine
by vetoing a measure condemning targeted assassinations.
Britain and Germany who sit on the fence and abstain are
just as bad and yet get nary a word of criticism from the
press who in turn blame the US! It is morally reprehensible.
Daniel Graham, London
This seems to perpetuate the circle of violence
however he can be directly held responsible for atrocities
against innocents, and should therefore expected retribution
of some sort.
At this crucial time of anti terror policies in
process around the world, Israel sends the wrong message.
Israel should be more keen on over the table talks, rather
than its present policies, which probabaly will only add to
more innocent deaths on both sides.
We are not going to pretend that the death of one
terrorist leader will increase violence. Terrorists don't
need anything to be violent, the killing in Bali, Tanzania,
US, Kenyans, Kashmir etc are Terrorist acts. Lots of
Israelis are killed or maimed, orphaned and widowed everyday
by the orders of these men. Why should countries pretend
that the planners of these acts should be untouchable? We
cannot be ruled by fear of terrorists. They should know that
they can also be pursued until they are found!
Charlie M, Lokongole, Uganda
Successful peace processes address conflicts from two
sides: eliminate the leaders of hate that brainwash their
people, then, or at the same time, address he broad
population to embrace peace. A true peace process can only
be discussed with men interested in peace, Yassin was not.
Stephan, London, UK
Having lived with the spectre of Terrorism be it the
IRA or other groups (incidentally it surprises me that we
are now being told that we have been untouched by terrorism
until September 11th). I can see that until everyone can
express their grievances and forgive them we will have no
Vanessa, Cheltenham, England
The only thing the outside world can do with the
Palestinian-Israel conflict is to wholeheartedly involved or
get out. A major UN summit should investigate acceptable end
states and then look at how to achieve them. If this fails
then both Israel and Palestine should be isolated while
providing refuges for those who didn't want to be involved
in the violence. Vetoes should be suspended in this regard.
Huw Evans, Ipswich, UK
Where in the past 50 years has anyone succeeded in
defeating terror by use of terror? It just doesn't happen.
The only real and long term solution to terrorism is to
isolate hard-line leaders by winning the hearts and minds of
sympathisers. This means addressing root problems sincerely
rather than creating martyrs.
Don, Glasgow, Scotland
European leaders instead of crying over Yassin, and
wondering if Arafat is safely tucked in bed, should take
steps against terror for their own People, simple Europeans
like me. Difficult to believe that three years after 9/11,
those EU leaders are only this morning thinking of Europe
Krsitian Hovborg, Stockholm, Sweden
A violent end to a violent man who instigated many
violent acts. Live by the sword and die by the sword, and
still no one learns the lesson!
Darren, Manchester, UK
To stop killing in the Middle East, one has simply to
do that: Stop the killing! Otherwise it will go on until
there is nobody left to kill... on either side of the wall.
Michael, Hamburg, Germany
When a Palestinian dies like this there are probably
three or four people to take his place (sons, nephews,
brothers etc.) When someone like Yassin dies in such an act
it creates thousands of potential bombers willing die for
Raj Singh, Slough, Berks
Yassin may have been a criminal but his killing will
result in much more bloodshed in Israel. If Israel use
criminal means (i.e. murder) to target Palestinians then
they are legitimising suicide bombings.
Daniel, London, UK
This is an act of terminal self-destruction by
Israel. There can be no hope now.
Fred G, Twickenham, UK
Sharon was wrong to do what he did, but you have to
bear in mind that Yassin was not just a spiritual leader to
Palestinian's, he was someone who planned and encouraged
others to kill. So tears should not be shed for Yassin, but
rather the Middle East generally, which today looks no
closer to peace than at any other point.
David Francis, Netherlands
The assassination of Sheikh Yassin cannot bring
peace. Removing a leader can only bring further violence,
especially a spiritual leader. I don't see peace in near
future. This ridiculous act of Sharon will leave Israelis
not only in Israel but around the world in threat. The
actions taken by Hamas were created in reaction to what
Israel was doing to them. One violence leads to another. No
religion allows bloodshed. This is the biggest mistake
Sharon has done. Why are Palestinians not seen as innocent
people and why only Israelis? Thousands of Palestinians die
along with thousands of Israelis. I have never seen or heard
killings, assassinations, murders or other sorts of violence
leading to peace. I just pray that miraculously such tension
can be resolved by talking instead of further killings.
Fizza Rizvi, San Jose, USA
I quote from one of your own stories: "Hamas is a
Palestinian nationalist movement that was founded to fight
the Israeli occupation" Really? And I thought that their
sworn aim was to destroy the state of Israel. I have a great
deal of sympathy for the Palestinians' plight and fully
understand their desire for self-determination and
statehood... but perhaps it's time for people, to recognise
that time and again they have snatched defeat from the jaws
of victory. They'd have had an independent viable state by
now if they'd simply come to terms with the fact that the
only way to peace is to share, compromise and negotiate. Not
to murder. And especially not to murder innocent people
going about their daily business, whether they're Jews,
Israelis or anyone else.
Mark Broomer, Tel Aviv, Israel (via England)
Political assassinations are widely condemned when
confronted with a so-called "lesser power". Due to
Bush-doctrine it is now perceived as a "legalised" mean to
counter terrorist groups. The line between good and evil
becomes very thin when democratic regimes apply totalitarian
rules. In this specific case you're not even cutting off the
head of a vicious snake, but only one of the heads of a
many-headed hydra which will grow back very fast indeed - in
the end you're only angering a beast that you can't possibly
L De Bondt, Brussels, Belgium
Israel calls just about everyone except themselves as
terrorists. They act outside of the UN regulations and have
basically no respect for the rest of the world when it comes
to following procedures. Now they have jeopardised whatever
little was there for a road to peace in the Middle East. The
danger is to awaken a sleeping giant.
Fahd, London, UK
Only a few weeks ago the Israelis stopped a 11 year
old boy and yesterday a 14 year old boy with explosives.
When the Israelis kill a child they are condemned but Hamas
think nothing of sending a child to his death.
Alan Lewis, London, UK
Evidently there are too many who have forgotten what
happens when you try to appease madmen. Does the name
Neville Chamberlain strike a familiar note? "Peace in our
time." Yeah, right. He even had Hitler's signature on a
piece of paper affirming that Germany would be nice to
everyone. It's the same thing here. Only the names and
locations have changed. You can offer your hand in
friendship only so many times. After that, you must make
your hand into a fist and defend yourself. Yassin was
responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of
innocent people. So why is Israel made out to be the bad
guy? Seems to me Israel is just defending herself.
David M Hallow, Quincy, IL, USA
How can any army kill a crippled man? A crippled man
leaving a place of worship. Israel is a new country with
very dangerous capabilities. What next a nuclear strike on
Kiaum Abdul, Stevenage, UK
I cannot understand why people are condemning this
attack. Yassin was a terrorist spiritual leader with more
blood on his hands than any other known terrorist under Bin
Laden. A victory for the world and long term peace.
Amanda Kuperman, Melbourne, Australia
Sharon has really done it this time. Israel has made
a very big mistake which will cost it dearly. This is not
the path to peace. Palestinians get blamed for all the
killings and bombings, what about what the Israelis do to
the Palestinians. The biggest threat to world peace is the
brutal state of Israel backed by the biggest terrorist of
them all America.
SK, Notts, England
Yassin has reaped what he has sown.
Sharon just needs to get Arafat - then he will have the all
out war he wants. Israel will only have peace by killing
every Palestinian now.
David, London, UK
to Israel, Yassin entered the "Paradise" he preached.
It's not my reaction you should be asking for, but action
from European Governments - Israel is guilty of all of the
things that we invaded Iraq for - possession of weapons of
mass destruction, continuous acts of aggression against the
population of Palestine and beyond, and a total disregard of
international law. Sanctions against Israel now.
Peter, Luton, UK
The passing of such a fanatic will help the cause for peace
in Middle East.
Aditya , Helsinki , Finland
Gavin Doyle said : "The Palestinians should take this to
heart and end their violent acts. " Does that not smack of
double standards? It seems to me that people are confused
with the word "defend" and "attack".
Philip Thompson, Aberdeen, Scotland
At last Israel has made a statement that it will deal with
terrorism once and for all by targeting the masterminds
behind these atrocious acts. In the same way as we hunt for
Bin Laden and the those responsible for 9/11, so too has
Israel targeted those ultimately responsible for the murder
of Israeli civilians.
Like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Is there a
fire-fighter out there? I feel things are getting out of
what was done was terrible. The land belongs to the
Palestinians and killing someone important is not going to
solve things at all.
Just another of America's terrorist ally Israel's atrocities
in the Middle East. It won't stop until they have control
over the Middle East and we will have to pay for it in the
West by being bombed ourselves because the Yanks want cheap
Jeremy Field, England
I used to sympathize with the Palestinians. But killing
civilians in a city bus cannot be defended no matter what
their cause is. Yassin is better off dead, as he encouraged
suicide bombers to blow up innocent women and children in
civilian buses. Let him himself experience what "martyrdom"
Shahpour, Los Angeles, USA
Sheikh Yassin was an enemy of the Palestinian people no less
than Israel. Everytime the peace process showed signs of
progress; he would instigate a series of terror attacks and
suicide bombings, with the hope of derailing the chances of
peace. Sheikh Yassin did not want peace with Israel - he
wanted to destroy Israel. This is the best thing that could
have happened to the Palestinians' hope of
Michael Rosen, London, UK
It is just the shame. I think Sharon must be taken to court
of justice for his atrocities on innocent Palestinians. I
think US is equally to blame to blindly support Israel. The
world should wage war against Israel as it is the biggest
terrorist in the world.
Nasir Rafiq, Karachi,Pakistan
Sheik Yassin you deserve it. It should be a clear warning to
all terrorists that they can never go free no matter how
long they may hide.
I think the Palestinians have the right to retaliate against
Sharon but not the Israeli people.
Nasr Farag, Cairo- Egypt
you all sick of Palestinian whining taking up all the
headlines when millions have died in the Congo war?
He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword! Good
Billy G., London, UK
I am stunned by the amount of sympathetic news coverage that
has been given over to a murderer. Sheikh Yassin deserved to
die at the hands of the people he has been trying to
slaughter for years. Hamas are terrorists, they want to kill
the Jews, they might well 'open the gates of hell', but the
Israeli's will triumph against Hamas and the Palestinians. I
am hoping and praying that Mr Arafat is the next target in
Alex Jones, London, England
What's this going to solve? Nothing. Israel will reap a
whirlwind for this and give Hamas the biggest recruitment
drive ever. Far from prevent attacks upon themselves they
seem to encourage it. One wonders if Israel ever wants
J C, Gloucester
I can't believe the mentality of the Israelis, they want
peace so they decide to kill the person who can appeal to
the population. Everytime the Israelis are attacked it's a
so called 'terrorist attack'. What about when the
Palestinians are attacked, murdered, not allowed to go
outside their homes, told to leave there houses so the
Israelis can build more homes in their land; if that is not
the cause of terrorism what is? Unfortunately in the world
today true and fair justice does not exist. .
Thanks to his death, countless others (Israelis) will live.
J. David Osorio, Sylmar CA, USA
Israel have said that Yassin was directly responsible for
all of Hamas' suicide bombings and attacks. But by the same
logic, Ariel Sharon is responsible for the killings by the
Israeli Army. This attack will only serve to legitimise
Sharon as an assassination target for Hamas.
Israel, what can I say, they never what to leave things as
they are, for leaving the Gaza strip they have to kill so
they feel better.
Mohamed Hamid, UK
With this killing Ariel Sharon crossed the line, the revenge
will be apocalyptical. Americans complain about leaders who
"orchestrated the death of hundreds of innocent civilians",
what about the +10,000 civilians crushed by your army in
Iraq? They don't count?.
Andres, Bogota, Colombia
What would we think if Western governments openly
assassinated their enemies? Would we approve if the Irish
government had killed Gerry Adams at the height of the IRA
attacks? Shouldn't these crimes be brought to court just
like any other illegal assassination, or is Ariel Sharon
above the law?
Kat, Pontypridd, Wales
To those saying he was a terrorist and deserved to die
because he killed innocent people: "Five others were killed
and some 15 wounded." Were they all Hamas leaders too? Or
did Israel kill and maim innocent civilians? If it is
terrorism to kill Israeli civilians it is terrorism to kill
Palestinian civilians. That makes Israel as guilty as Hamas.
Ian Pearson, Birmingham, UK
This assassination has rid of a body, not an ideology.
Watching the pictures of Yassin's funeral in the bustling
streets of Gaza merely confirms that the peace process
remains in tatters.
Kate, London, UK
A warning to all terrorists. You will never be safe. You
will not be able to plan the murder of innocents with
impunity. The world is free of an evil man.
John Molney, UK
Much as he was the head of a militant outfit, Sheikh Ahmed
Yassin was still seen as a spiritual leader by thousands of
Palestinians. Killing him is thus thoughtless, and a grave
blow to any prospect for peace. There will only be more
Henry Makori, Nairobi, Kenya
The only shame is that the Israelis didn't kill him in last
year's assassination attempt. How many more terrorist
atrocities did he plan and inspire in the intervening
period? This should demonstrate that just as we aren't safe
anymore, the terrorists will also not be sleeping soundly at
Simon G, UK
America arms Israel, but has no control over Israel's
actions, so America, and the West, must accept
responsibility, and the inevitable reprisals.
Chris Collins, Belgium
This action will only lead to more hatred and revenge and
retaliation. To solve any problem if killing is the only
mean then there is nothing but continuous bloodshed.
Mohammed Ali Khan, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Israel does not have the right to execute its opponents as
it sees fit. The killing of Shiek Yassin is state sponsored
terrorism at its worst. The Israeli leadership must be held
Peter O'Dea, Canberra, Australia
I guess the only thing that is clearly illustrated by this
inhuman act is how vicious and brutal the Israelis are.
Killing a civilian with three missiles is definitely out of
this world! If by committing such an act, they think they
have established security, I guess they have opened the
gates of hell on them, not only from the Arabs but from the
International community as well, who now know what kind of
people they are dealing with. This act is a very stupid
move, which is unlike all the sleazy and underground moves
that the Israelis usually undergo and pretend to be the
world victims. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was a great inspiration
for many Palestinians.
Mr.Yassin chose death as his strategic ally to fight for the
rights of his people. The determination of the Arabs to
destroy Israel is just the same. The hatred Yassin preached
was immeasurable. In the end he got what he loved most: a
martyr death even though he preferred it to happen to
Al, Tikva, Israel
man had zero respect for human life and was involved in the
planning and orchestration of countless murders of innocent
civilians. Do not judge a book by it's cover: wheelchair or
no wheelchair, blood was on his hands.
Mark, London, UK
anti-tank helicopters were used to assassinate this cripple
in this terrorist outrage. Unless the US immediately ends
military support then US citizens will be legitimate targets
for revenge attacks.
long term, the Palestinians have a better chance for peace
without him. His barbaric murdering of Israeli civilians was
a major cause of continued conflict.
James Large, London, UK
Palestinian problem affects us all and is more of a danger
to international peace then any imaginary threat in Iraq.
The USA and other powers should concentrate their efforts
once and for all on solving this problem. Let's forget about
trying to broker a deal between the two sides, let's impose
a deal and if we have to use force to do it. Israel will
never solve this problem and the Palestinians haven't the
power to, so we should go in and sort it. We should force
the Israelis out of the occupied areas, pull down this wall
and recognise an independent Palestine with UN Protection.
of you describing Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a mad and
despicable terrorist. Sure, the guy wanted to get rid of
Israel and condoned the killing of civilians. But what is
the difference between him and Sharon, whose hand is tainted
with more blood than Yassin and who doesn't want to see a
Tae-hoon Kim, Korean living in Cambridge
was the leader of Hamas that killed many Israeli civilians
as an ideology. There should be a law against targeting and
killing civilians. Most countries have one. On lands where
there is no such law, or it can't be enforced, justice may
come from the air!
John, New York, USA
was a warmonger, a terrorist, and a promoter of violence. He
deserved a violent death. However, justice and wisdom do not
always go hand-in-hand. We, the citizens of Israel, will pay
dearly for this mad act of justice. And both sides will
adopt even more extreme stances now, as a result of this
execution and its aftermath. A lot more blood will be shed,
I am afraid, before both nations wake up and realise they
have no choice but coexist in peace. I hope my children live
to see that day.
Yuval, Timmorim, Israel
the worst action ever taken by the Israeli Government all I
see now is revenge, more revenge and revenge.
Hafeez, Preston, England
the man who sent few weeks ago a women that was caught
cheating on her husband to kill herself together with
Israeli soldiers. His war was not made to help the
Palestinians, his war was to kill as many Jews as possible
as part of the doctrine for Islamic expansion. A man that
considers himself as protector for the Palestinians should
have engaged in helping the construction of the Palestinian
state and not to implicate them in a constant war.
have preferred to see Yassin in front of a judge, not a
rocket. Which law allows this killing?
Isabelle Zutter, Aarau, Switzerland
Sharon made the right decision to get rid of Yassin. For
Israel it was a case of damned if I don't and damned if I
do. There were suicide bombings before Yassin was killed and
they will continue after his death. As such his killing was
a no brainer for the Israelis.
Anthony Kay, London, England
very sad to hear of his death. He was an inspiration to tens
of thousands of Palestinians. May his soul rest in peace.
Niayyir Malik, London, UK
was accused of encouraging suicide bombers. The borders to
the Gaza Strip have been shut to all incoming and out going
traffic since the female suicide bomber a few months ago at
the border. This situation had to be stopped. Although I
cannot condone what has happened, it is still a positive
step towards allowing food, aid and help to those two
million people stranded in the Strip who need it.
Rob Kent, London, UK
Regardless of the rights or wrongs of political
assassination, the killing of innocent bystanders makes this
an act of terrorism which should be universally condemned.
Otherwise we are left with the ridiculous notion of the
world of terror being divided into "good" terrorists and
act legal under international law? Shouldn't all men guilty
of crimes be held accountable rather than gunned down? If
Yassin was a murderer let him be tried. Isn't this what a
civilised country would do?
It is a
horrible game that the powers that be play in the middle
east. Although I am generally sympathetic towards the
Palestinians, I can see why Israel made this decision. The
truth that most upsets me is that there are innocent
Israelis that are alive today that will die in the next few
weeks because of this action. That is the unbearable reality
of this situation.