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April 17, 2004
Israel Kills Hamas Leader of the Month

Something tells me that the Employee of the Month award at Hamas won't be nearly as popular as it was before ...

Israel, obviously undeterred from the protests following the killing of Hamas founder Sheik Yassin last month, has successfully carried out a targeted killing of his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi:

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.

Undoubtedly, this action will once again provoke outrage from a wide collection of hypocrites around the world, complete with much fingershaking at Israel and mutterings of UN resolutions condemning the killing of Rantisi. It certainly prompted Palestinian hypocrisy almost immediately:

"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. ... About 2,000 angry Palestinians marched through the streets carrying pieces of Rantisi's car shouting, "revenge, revenge."

Let's be clear about one thing: Hamas has categorically refused to recognize Israel's right to exist, and has always supported any means necessary to remove Israel from the map. Hamas, along with fellow Islamofascist organization Islamic Jihad and the more secular Palestinian Liberation Organization unit Fatah have done nothing to promote a peaceful solution, instead opting to fan the flames of terrorism in Gaza and the West Bank. Rantisi himself promoted the most hard-line position, making even an attempt at negotiation pointless. Suicide bombings would come whether the Israelis killed Rantisi or not, and promoting instability at the top of the organization therefore only offers positive consequences.

Since the start of public testimony at the 9/11 Commission, we have heard voices on both sides of the political spectrum ask openly why we didn't use so-called "extrajudicial" means of killing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11. Too late did we recognize that Islamofascists were at war with the United States, and the result was a reluctance to use all of our power to eliminate a threat that was not seen as existential until the attacks on New York and Washington. But Israel has known that the Islamofascist war against them has always been existential; they want to annihilate every last Israeli in Southwest Asia.

So let us not tolerate any scolding towards Israel from the same people that claim that our failure to kill bin Laden demonstrates a lack of focus on terrorism. Israel recognizes better than anyone that they are engaged in a war, better than we do with our own. Any suggestion that Israel should be denied options we demand for ourselves hints at an attitude of anti-Semitism that certainly was aptly demonstrated in world reaction to the death of the last terrorist leader of Hamas.

UPDATE: Deacon at Power Line notes that this was probably a reaction to the killing of a border guard and the wounding of three other Israelis for which Hamas and Fatah claimed joint responsibility. Perhaps; I suspect that Rantisi would have been killed regardless, given the opportunity. But if Deacon is correct, perhaps the Israelis will also finally kill the leader of the organization to which Fatah belongs.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 17, 2004 4:48 PM

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