Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder of the Hamas terror organization,
was killed in Gaza on Monday morning in an IAF attack.
Yassin founded Hamas and led it on its path of terror. He was
personally and directly responsible for dozens of attacks
that claimed the lives of Israeli civilians, foreign
citizens, and security personnel. In 1989, Yassin was tried,
convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his
involvement in the murder of IDF soldiers Avi Sasport and
Ilan Sa'adon. Released from prison about eight years later in
an agreement between Israel and Jordan, he resumed his
leadership of Hamas and involvement in its murderous
According to the IDF, Yassin was a central Hamas authority
and fully involved in the decisions for terrorism and general
policy. In addition, Yassin personally authorized suicide
attacks, bombing attacks and Qassam missile attacks against
Israel and its citizens. In public appearances, Yassin
repeatedly called to continue the "armed struggle" and to
carry out terrorist attacks against Israel and all around the
world. He said he was carrying out a global Jihad and
since the US invaded Iraq, it was also a target. Just two
weeks ago Hamas said that a terror bomb attack it carried out
in Tel Aviv almost a year ago was part of global Islamic
After recent serious terror attacks at the Ashdod port and a
brazen jeep assault against positions at the Erez crossing,
Israeli policymakers concluded that Hamas had made a
strategic decision to step up terror activities in the time
leading up to the announced Sharon withdrawal from Gaza.
Their purpose is to emphasize that Israel is leaving Gaza in
response to their terror.
One way that Israel indicated that it would respond is by
battering Hamas in advance. Thus, if they would not concede
defeat, at least they could not claim victory. From that
perspective, eliminating Yassin may be the first step in
Sharon's disengagement plan.
There can be no doubt that according to the International
Rules of War, Ahmed Yassin was considered a combatant and
thus a legitimate target for a lethal attack. In addition,
his activities made him a common criminal, many times
The only consistent thread in the Hamas policy under Yassin
was violence and death. In its early years, Hamas disdained
the use of women and children as bombers, in accordance with
Islamic tradition. Eventually all restrictions were
abandoned, in the interest of more effective murder. Under
Yassin, Hamas was interested only in the destruction of
Israel and its Jews.
To call someone like that a "spiritual leader," as some of
the media do, is a gross distortion of the term. Yassin led
in an anti-spiritual direction: not to the realm of truth and
beauty, but to the pit of death and destruction. His victims
are not only the innocent Jews murdered, but also those of
his people that he sends to their death in the cause of
murder, and those killed by legitimate efforts to stop the
murder that he initiated.
Eliminating such an evil person is a good thing in itself.
Ba'avod reshoim rinoh (Mishlei 11:10). We pray that
this good act lead to a reduction and eventual cessation of
the terrible bloodshed in our area, and a fulfillment of the
first part of the posuk: Civilization will rejoice
when the tzaddikim have it good.