Top Hamas Leader in Gaza City Killed
An Israeli missile strike killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi as he rode in his car Saturday evening, hospital officials said. Rantisi’s son Mohammed and a bodyguard were also killed in the attack.
The militant Hamas leader was one of Israel’s top targets after it assassinated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin in an airstrike last month.
Rantisi’s car was hit with missiles Saturday evening on the road outside his home, leaving only the burned, destroyed vehicle. After the explosion, Israeli helicopters were heard in the area.
Rantisi was taken to the hospital in critical condition, his body pocked with bloody wounds and blood streaming from his head and neck. He was taken to emergency surgery but died five minutes after arriving at the hospital.
Palestinian officials lashed the Israeli strike.
“We condemn in strongest possible terms this Israeli crime of assassinating Dr. Rantisi. This is state terror, and the Israeli government is fully responsible for the consequences of this action,” Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said.
Rantisi is [Was! -ed.] Hamas’ top leader in Gaza and one of the most hard-line members of the militant movement who rejects all compromise with Israel and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
If the Israelis keep this up, pretty soon no one is going to want to be in charge of the group. I’m guessing it’s already pretty hard to get health insurance if “Hamas leader” is listed under “occupation.”