ISRAELI PEACE activists say Ariel Sharon ordered the assassination of a leader of the Palestinian group Hamas in order to 'bury' any chance of peace. The Gush Shalom group says the attempted assassination of Dr Abdel Azziz Rantisi on Tuesday of last week was designed 'to destroy Palestinian prime minister Abu Mazen and prevent a planned truce'.
All 'in order to save the settlements, continue the occupation and prevent the establishment of the state of Palestine'. Adam Keller, a spokesperson for Gush Shalom, said: 'After assassinations had this same result so many times before, one need not be a brilliant strategist, or have access to confidential files, to accurately predict the results of sending helicopter gunships to Gaza to assassinate the well-known Hamas spokesperson. Prime minister Sharon certainly knew exactly what he was doing. Many potentially positive developments in the past two years were foiled by a judicious use of assassination.'
The attack wounded Dr Rantisi and killed two passers-by. That led to a suicide bomber hitting back the following day in Jerusalem, killing 16 people. Less than 24 hours later, an Israeli helicopter strike in Gaza killed seven people, including a senior Hamas leader, his wife and their one year old daughter.