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Killing of Hamas Leader: Step Forward or Step Back?

March 23, 2004

Re "Founder of Hamas Dies in Israeli Strike," March 22: Israel's killing of Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin is a great step forward for both peace and security. Yassin, who dedicated his life to destroying Israel, was the opposite of a great Arab leader like Anwar Sadat, who literally gave his life for peace.

Yassin should be remembered as the man who thwarted peacenik Shimon Peres' reelection in 1996 with unrelenting terror attacks, created Hamas' suicide cult with Saudi money and rejected even temporary truces with Israel. Yassin will not be missed.

Nathan Wirtschafter

Encino

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Evidently, Israel's "peace" strategy is to create a powder keg in the West Bank and Gaza by ruthlessly repressing the Palestinian people en masse, lighting it and then using the ensuing explosion as cover for a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The assassination of Yassin may well be the match to set this powder keg ablaze. The explosion, however, that Israel courts today with such suicidal passion is one that will not leave it more secure.

Ethan Wells

Long Beach

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When I read that Yassin was dead I hoped for peace. Yassin was the spiritual leader of Hamas because he took personal responsibility before God for every Hamas terrorist act. If he was right to order or bless that act, all would go to paradise as martyrs; if he was wrong, only he would go to hell. With him gone, Hamas members will have to take individual responsibility for their actions. They might, therefore, think twice.

Inna Tysoe

Sacramento

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How can one of the world's most powerful militaries strike at the heart of the poorest of the poor, living in a living hell, and think this is the right way to overcome and end their unbelievable relationship? And shame on the strongest nation in the world and its allies for not putting an end to this madness.

Ian Lawson

San Diego

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