Chris McGreal in Gaza City
Wednesday June 11, 2003
Israel drew stinging criticism from Washington, accusations of terrorism from its Palestinian partner in the peace process and a vow by Hamas to respond in kind after an army helicopter tried to assassinate the Hamas political leader in Gaza.
Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi narrowly escaped with his life as an Israeli army helicopter fired a volley of missiles at his vehicle in the heart of Gaza City. Dr Rantissi sustained shoulder and leg wounds, having abandoned his vehicle just before a missile scored a direct hit.
His son, Ahmad, who was driving, suffered a more serious neck injury.
One of Dr Rantissi's bodyguards was killed along with a woman in the street. More than 20 people were taken to hospital with wounds, some of them serious.
Dr Rantissi was the public face of Hamas in rejecting the US-led road map to a Palestinian state and pledging to maintain the armed struggle against occupation. The Israeli government specifically blamed him for organising the killing of four Israeli soldiers in Gaza last week
Hours later a second Israeli helicopter strike on a car killed three Palestinians allegedly responsible for firing rudimentary rockets from Gaza into Israel. Dozens of other people were wounded.
The spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, told the Guardian there would be a violent response. "The Israelis have sent a message," he said. "Now they have to wait for our reply. Our answer will be of the same calibre.
"The Israelis don't want peace. They only want to humiliate the Palestinians. The Israelis want an explosion of violence. They want a military confrontation with Hamas."
The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, said the attack will undermine peace efforts: "We are concerned that this type of activity will delay the plan of progress we are hoping for as we move down the road map." http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,975002,00.html
auch die USA werden keine Ruhe bringen in diese "Auge um Auge Zahn für Zahn"Philosophie auf beiden Seiten!