An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Could this news article from June 2003 indicate why Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed?
The spiritual leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas says it has decided to suspend "fighting operations" against Israelis.
In a television interview in Gaza City, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said this was not yet a formal ceasefire, and that Hamas was working with other Palestinian factions on a joint statement.
This article from October 2003 is telling as well.
"In the past we declared a unilateral ceasefire, we gave the Israeli enemy a truce for 50 days, but they did not commit to it even for one day. They continued with their killings and crimes, with demolishing houses and building settlements.
"So we have to study where the national interest lies: with resistance, or with declaring a ceasefire."
Hamas has been calling for a mutual ceasefire, one that would mean an end to Israeli assassinations and incursions as well as Palestinian attacks.
Judging by public statements, Palestinian officials have also adopted that approach.
US reaction to the assassination was perceived as "near open support" according to an article in Haaretz- initially that is.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher later in the day reflected the worlds outrage.
He said the United States was "very troubled" by the events in Gaza. He also avoided condemning Israel explicitly, but turned the White House's general call for calm into a message aimed at Israel, urging Jerusalem to avoid further action that would make it difficult to restore calm.
From an editorial in todays Haaretz.
Last week's cabinet decision to kill off the Hamas leadership broke the rules of the game, and could move the armed conflict to areas never seen before. For the first time the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken on a religious dimension since the target chosen by Israel was an Islamic leader whose symbolic stature went far beyond the borders of the country. Moreover, the declared decision - to assassinate the entire political and spiritual leadership of the Hamas, on the grounds that they initiate terror operations and are responsible for them - pushes them into a corner where they have nothing left to lose. It will also provoke them into adopting a particularly extremist approach, hoping for unusually spectacular terror attacks that would revive their own deterrence against Israel and reestablish the balance of fear on which the violent conflict has taken place until now.
Abdel Aziz Rantisi is heir to the leadership of Hamas. He is now a target for the IDF. It is thought that the resistance group will keep the identity of it's leaders secret to ward off more assassinations. Rantisi promises more violent resistance.
Just what Sharon needs to keep in power; and to secure his "facts on the ground", illegal settlements on the land of the Palestinian people, Gaza, the West Bank.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.-- Gandhi