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Sat Apr 17 2004 Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi
Car of Hamas leader, al-Rantissi, blown up by Israeli assassins. April 17th 2004, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi was assassinated by Israel while driving in his car through Gaza City. Earlier in the day the Israeli High Court of Justice had rejected two petitions seeking to stop the government's policy of "executions without trial" of Palestinian leaders. PALESTINIANS REMOVE BODY OF HAMAS LEADER'S BODYGUARD AFTER ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE IN GAZA (Ahmed Jadallah/REUTERS)
On March 22, 2004 Israel assassinated Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. The killing of a paralyzed and wheelchair-bound leader (who could easily have been arrested), set off shock waves throughout the region. Turkey, which in recent years has become an ally of Israel, accused Sharon of 'terrorism'. India, which had hosted Sharon just weeks before, stated it was appalled. Kofi Anan reiterated that "extrajudicial killings are against international law", but an attempt to condemn Israel via the UN was thwarted by the United States. Israel has used "targeted killings" for years to get rid of Palestinian leaders whom it dislikes. After every assassination, world leaders condemn Israel's actions as being against human rights norms and international law, but the US has thus far prevented the condemnations from ever amounting to a change in Israel's policies.

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