How not to have peace in the Mideast
Israel assassinated Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin Monday, striking its heaviest blow against the Palestinian Islamic militant group and provoking threats of bloody revenge.
Israeli security sources said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon personally ordered and monitored the helicopter attack on the paralyzed cleric, whose wheelchair lay smashed in a pool of blood after three missiles exploded outside a Gaza mosque.
An Israeli helicopter gunship fired missles directly at the quadripelgic sheikh who was being pushed in his wheelchair, killing several innocent bystanders. He, according to some, was a moderating force (yes, moderating) force on Hamas.
The blowback on this will be extraordinary.
And it appears to have already started.
Major world stock markets have dropped sharply after Israel’s killing of a leading Palestinian militant.
The killing of Sheikh Yassin has drawn widespread international condemnation.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said it was not only against international law, but did nothing to help find a peaceful solution.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak described it as cowardly and King Abdullah of Jordan called it a crime.
In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers condemned Israel for an “extra-judicial killing”, which they said undermined the rule of law.
And the reaction of the White House?
But the US State Department avoided direct criticism of Israel, urging all parties in the conflict to remain calm and show restraint.