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Israel Assassinates Rantisi

Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi was killed in an Israeli air strike Saturday, along with his son and a bodyguard. Five pedestrians were wounded in the strike, hospital officials said. Rantisi died a minutes after arriving at hospital, medics reported.

Immediately after the missile strike, Hamas activists filled the streets of Gaza City to express their shock and anger. They surrounded the car's wreckage and some jumped on top of it, chanting for revenge.

Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat condemned the assassination, saying the Israeli government is carrying out "state terror."

The militant Hamas leader was one of Israel's top targets after it had assassinated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin in an airstrike last month.

Israeli officials justified the attack as part of the ongoing battle against militants who have killed more than 900 Israelis in attacks over the past 3 1/2 years of violence.

"We have to continue this war, every time and every place. And this story with Rantisi shows how the army can get everywhere. We have to continue, we have no other choice," cabinet minister Gideon Ezra told Israel Radio.


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