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Yassin killing: Will violence increase?
The Israeli government has threatened more strikes on Palestinian militant leaders, a day after it killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas

Sheik Yassin was targeted as he returned from a mosque in Gaza City at daybreak. Five others were killed and some 15 wounded.
Israeli security forces are on high alert after Hamas vowed to strike back and bring death to "every city and every street".
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?
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinions we have received:

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.
Neil, London

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.
Sangeeta, India

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.
Zain, Paris

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 actions!
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!
Eleena, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

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.
Galespeed, Brunei

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.
Toby, London

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.
Arunkumarray, Calcutta/India.

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 peace.
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 security.
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 the cause.
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 kill.
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 Yasser Arafat?
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.
Joshua, London


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

Thanks 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

Fully deserved.
Ben, Singapore

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.
Rob, London

Like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Is there a fire-fighter out there? I feel things are getting out of control!
Einav, Israel

I think 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 petrol.
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" tastes like.
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 self-determination.
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.
Maja, Denmark

I think the Palestinians have the right to retaliate against Sharon but not the Israeli people.
Nasr Farag, Cairo- Egypt

Aren't you all sick of Palestinian whining taking up all the headlines when millions have died in the Congo war?
Paul, Glasgow

He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword! Good riddance.
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 Israeli sights.
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 peace.
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. .
Yass, Berkshire

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.
Dean, Brighton

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 violence.
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 night.
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 to account.
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.
Ola, Egypt

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 others.
Al, Tikva, Israel

This 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

US 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.
Danny, Scotland

In the 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

The 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.
Phil, UK

To all 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 Palestinian state?
Tae-hoon Kim, Korean living in Cambridge

Yassin 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

Yassin 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

This is the worst action ever taken by the Israeli Government all I see now is revenge, more revenge and revenge.
Hafeez, Preston, England

This is 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.
AM, TA,Israel

I would have preferred to see Yassin in front of a judge, not a rocket. Which law allows this killing?
Isabelle Zutter, Aarau, Switzerland

I think 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

I am 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

Yassin 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 "bad" ones.
KJV, Cambridge

Is this 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?
Alison Dingle

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.
Nick, UK





جميع الحقوق محفوظة لموقع الشيخ أحمد ياسين - القاهرة 2006