The New York Sun has compiled a collection of quotes from Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the new head of Hamas, among which are:

From his hospital bed on June 10, 2003, after suffering light shrapnel wounds following an Israeli missile strike on his car in
Gaza City: “By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews.”

On suicide bombers:

“I congratulate them. They will teach the Jewish mothers in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and everywhere that our blood is not cheap.”

On the borders of Palestine:

“There is no difference between Akko, Haifa, Gaza, Jaffa, or Nablus. The Palestinian Intifada will continue until the last Zionist is banished.” 

According to the AP, the Hamas website recently posted a letter from the deceased Sheik Yassin in which he wrote:

The land of Palestine is an Arab, Islamic land which was occupied with the force of weapons by the Jewish Zionists and we will not get it back except with the force of weapons. 

And here’s the Sun’s David Twersky on the bogus distinction between Hamas’ political and military sides:

Much rests on the assertion that Yassin was on the spiritual, not military or operational-side of Hamas. Perhaps [New York] Times editors should read their own copy.

In the April 4, 2002 issue, the paper ran a front-page interview in which Hamas “political” leaders argued, in their own words, that they ran the “military” side of the operation.

In “Mideast Turmoil: Gaza; Arabs’ Grief in Bethlehem,Bombers’ Gloating in Gaza,” by Joel Brinkley, Hamas political leaders boasted that they decide “when their followers should attack and when they should back off.”

One “political” leader,Dr.Abdel Aziz Rantisi–yesterday named as the new Hamas leader in Gaza–told the Times that he generates attacks by making public statements that are followed by the group’s military wing, “because we are the political leaders.”

According to the Times, “analysts here suggest that the leaders’ roles are actually more direct. During the 45-minute interview in Sheik Yassin’s compound, for example, aides twice brought him urgent news about developments in Ramallah, and he issued clear, direct orders.”

The false distinction implied by designating Yassin a “spiritual” leader was not lost on the European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, who denounced the Israeli action as contravening international law. The EU foreign ministers said the assassination was an “extrajudicial killing,” a charge that is based on the assumption that Yassin was a noncombatant and therefore entitled to a trial rather than a summary execution.

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